The Heat is On: Why is it So Hot During the Texas Hill Country Summers?

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The Texas Hill Country summers seem an endless string of blisteringly hot days that residents don’t just endure, they survive. Why do other parts of the country get mild summers while Texas bakes? The answer lies in the climate and the many factors that affect it. Finding out why it’s so hot may not make the heat more bearable, but you’ll rest assured that we still have better winters than most other parts of the country.

Weather vs. Climate

Weather Map NOAA Showing Weather Conditions in 2007

Photo: NOAA

Weather and climate are two different things, though some use the term interchangeably. The former only refers to the current conditions. While the latter refers to the overall conditions in the long term. For instance, harsh winters and mild summers refers to climate. A lot of snow next week refers to the weather. Use this mnemonic device to remember the difference. You can determine whether you need an umbrella based on the weather. Though some days may have milder temperatures than average during the Texas Hill Country summers, typically, the summers will always be hot.

Hill Country Climate

2007 Flooding Near Georgetown, Texas

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Hill Country has a semi-arid climate. Winters tend to be mild, though slightly cooler than the Texas Gulf Coast and not as cold as the Panhandle. Summers may have higher temperatures, but since the Hill Country has lower humidity than the Gulf Coast, it feels cooler.

Like the temperatures, rainfall for this region, 48 inches annually, falls between the 60 inches on the Gulf Coast to 32 inches of precipitation in the north. Gulf moisture fuels the storms that can bring torrential downpours, which contribute to the annual precipitation. Tornadoes and floods frequently plague the Hill Country, with floods the more common danger. Floods prove problematic in the low-lying areas between hills in the area, and the numerous creeks and rivers in the area can quickly overflow in flash flooding.

Precipitation Factors

Anvil Shaped Thundercloud
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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