Texas Will Face More Extreme Weather
Key Findings in the Report
- The expected average temperature in 2036 will be about 3 degrees warmer than the average over the second half of the last century. The number of 100-degree days in the state will double over the next couple of decades.
- By 2036, extreme rainfall is expected to be 30-50% more frequent than the 1950-1999 average, causing more flooding — especially in Houston and other Texas cities where abundant impervious surfaces increase rain runoff intensity.
- More intense droughts will result from higher temperatures and increased variability in the amount of annual rainfall.
- For some parts of the Texas coast, the storm surge risk may double by 2050 due to sea level rise and more intense hurricanes.
Increasing temperatures, rainfall variability, and other factors will decrease water availability, but changes will vary significantly across the state.
Precipitation will be 6-10% more intense than the 1950-1999 average. Extreme events will be 30-50% more frequent than the 1950-1999 average.
An increase in the intensity of the strongest hurricanes is likely overall, but local trends will be erratic.
WARMER WINTER TEMPERATURES
The average winter temperature will be 5.6°F warmer than the 1950-1999 average.
Conclusions About Texas’ Future Climate
Data makes hard conversations easier, and few conversations have been as difficult as the one around climate.
It was important to Texas’ state climatologist, Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, and to Texas 2036, to bring a new lens to this issue and to take a data-driven look at extreme weather trends to gain insight into the preparations Texas needs to make.
The data is in: our growing population and thriving economy will face more extreme weather by our state’s bicentennial. The question is, what are we planning to do about it?