As a Southern state, Texas has the classic reputation of being hot and humid. So, why is Texas hot? And is it getting hotter and hotter? You’re correct for thinking that, as there is evidence that Texas summers are far warmer than they have been in the past.
Texas is a southern state located right on top of the 30th parallel. The location frequently experiences high temperatures, and much of Texas has higher-than-average humidity. Humidity can make it feel hotter than it is. Climate change has also negatively affected Texas, with average summer temperatures rising over the years.
Why Is Texas So Hot?
There are many reasons that Texas is such a hot state. The primary reasons for the high temperatures in Texas are:
- Climate Change
- Power Grid
Let’s take a look at each in more detail.
You may know the 30th parallel as Latitude 30. It cuts straight through Texas’ territory. Another location on the 30th parallel is the Sahara Desert, which may give you a clue into how Texas’ location affects its climate.
The terms climate and weather can be confusing. Weather is what you experience every day when you step out the door. Weather is often described as sunny, rainy, or snowy.
The climate contains long-term data gathered from the weather in an area. The reason we know Texas is a hot state is because the long-term data tells us the climate is on the hotter side.
Many people view Texas as a dry area, but much of the state is very humid. Humidity is the measure of how much water is present in the air in a given area. Precipitation rates inform the level of humidity.
Humidity is what can make the temperature feel higher than it is. Humid, hot areas will often feel several degrees hotter than the temperature on a thermometer.
Although many know Texas as a warmer and more humid state, recent jumps in temperatures may be due to climate change. The table below that displays the change in temperature in Texas over the years.
|Year||Average Daily Minimum Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)||Average Daily Maximum Temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)|
A few degrees may not seem like a huge difference, but when it comes to the climate, a few degrees can lead to extreme situations.
As the average daily maximum temperature climbs, there are more incidences of wildfires, storms, and extremely hot weather that can cause health issues such as heat strokes, dehydration, and death.
There have been many concerns over the Texas power infrastructure in recent years. People worry about the power grid failure due to increased demand for air conditioning due to warmer summers.
After the winter storm of 2021, when the power and water infrastructure failed and left people in freezing homes, the concern for the power grid has grown. Warmer summers also lead to increased demand, which can overwhelm the power grid.
Texas Weather Events
Texas is the largest state in the contiguous United States and experiences many significant weather events. Some of the common major weather events Texas experiences, some of which contribute to the Texas heat and humidity levels include the following.
In areas that experience wildfires, wildfire seasons are the times when there is an increased risk of wildfires. Unlike California which only has one wildfire season, Texas has two seasons when the risk for wildfires is high.
These two seasons were previously broken up as the winter/spring fire season and the summer/fall fire season. Climate change has led to one year-long continuous fire season for much of Texas, as wildfires have occurred more often and been far more dangerous.
The increase in wildfires directly contributes to rising temperatures in areas affected.
Texas has experienced flooding throughout its history. However, as with wildfires, climate change has led to increased instances of flooding as well as more intense droughts.
Flooding leads to higher humidity levels in areas affected.
Texas has historically had huge instances of tornado outbreaks. A tornado outbreak refers to the presence of several tornadoes in one area. Six to ten individual tornadoes need to occur for an outbreak to happen.
Hundreds of tornadoes occur each year in Texas.
Texas Temperature FAQ
Here are some common questions regarding the extreme heat in Texas.
What is the hottest Texas has ever been?
The hottest temperature in one day ever recorded in Texas was 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Weather stations recorded this high temperature in two areas on two separate dates, with the most recent recorded temperature in 2000.
What months are good to travel to Texas?
If you are not a fan of the heat and humidity, you’ll want to avoid Texas summers. The hottest months in Texas are July and August. August has an average high temperature of 94.5 degrees Fahrenheit and July has an average high temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
The most comfortable months in Texas when the average high temperature is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit are April, May, and October.
Is Florida or Texas hotter?
When comparing straight temperatures, summers in Texas appear to be hotter than in Florida. The average high temperature in the most populated Florida cities is around 91.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The average high temperature in the most populated Texas cities is around 94.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
So, on paper, Texas appears hotter than Florida. However, Florida has higher overall humidity than Texas. The average humidity in Florida sits at around 87%, while Texas’ average is 62%. Humidity can make an area feel far hotter than a thermometer may show.
Some areas in Florida experience even higher humidity, such as Tallahassee, with an average high of about 90%, or Orlando with an average high of 89%.
If you’re traveling to Texas and are not a fan of high humidity, consider visiting the western areas of Texas, which are well-known for their desserts as well as stunning views.
Texas has higher temperatures, and Florida has higher humidity.