The Worst Weather Days in the History of Abilene
When it comes to the weather in Abilene, the old saying goes "If you don't like the weather in Abilene, wait five minutes it'll change." From my personal view ,there's nothing closer to the truth. With that said, one question comes to mind, what are the single most worst weather days that we've experienced in the Key City?
Let's take a look at the hottest, coldest, rainiest, snowiest, windiest and finally stormiest days in Abilene's history.
On May 18th 2019, Abilene was hit by a EF-2 tornado that caused a lot of damage, but it was not the worst storm in Abilene. The worst storm in Abilene's history had a category F-4 tornado, June 10th 1909, in what is Dyess Air Force Base today. In 1909 there was a single farmhouse with lots of cattle and a family of five. The family made it into the cellar just moments before the tornado hit. When the family surfaced after the storm unharmed, the house, barns, trees, fences and all their cattle had been stripped from their land.
While the most recent of snow storms was January 10th 2021, it only dropped a total of 5.3 inches of snow in Abilene. However, the 'unexpected' freak winter storm of 1996 that kicked off Easter weekend by leaving Abilene covered in a blanket of snow. The storm left a total of 9.3 inches of snow in April 5th of 1996 and was the snowiest day in Abilene's history. The recent snow storm on Valentines Day, February 14, 2021 has set a new record of 14.8 inches in 24-hours.
While August of 2020 had more consecutive days with temperatures soaring around 107 to 109 degrees. Still the hottest day in Abilene history was recorded on August 3rd 1943, when the mercury peaked at 111 degrees. The record books show that the heat wave of 1943 took it's toll, more so on livestock and pets though.
We have had our share of cold weather days in recent Abilene history. For example, I clearly recall the winter of 2014 when the temperatures got down to 10 degrees on January 28th 2014. That pales in comparison to January 4, 1947, when the temperature in Abilene dropped to -9 below and the wind-chills were -20 below.
With as much drought as we see here in Abilene ant West Texas, especially in the last 10 years. It's hard to believe that we were once considered the precipitation capital of the Edwards Plateau. It happened In 1928, Abilene received more rain in one single day than ever before. The Key City got hit with just over 6.5 inches of rain, causing massive flooding throughout the city and the county as well.
Abilene has two significant months that deal with the wind. They are March generally the windiest month of the year and August the least windiest month of the year, on average. However, on June 10th 1951, the wind was recorded blowing at a record holding speed of 109 miles per hour in Abilene, causing tons of major property damage. However, it was not believed to have been tornado related according to Natl. Weather Service Public Information Director Hector Guerrero.