Century-long changing climate of Texas: the spatio-temporal variability and trends of temperature and precipitation

Authors: Yanan Li*, Texas State University - San Marcos
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology, Regional Geography, Anthropocene
Keywords: climate change, temperature, precipitation, Texas
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Evidence and impacts of a changing climate have been observed across the globe and have raised extensive awareness in the recent decades. Characterizing regional climate trends is a fundamental step toward understanding climate dynamics and helps in local policy making. As the second largest state in the United States, Texas has been facing climate related challenges at various magnitudes and frequencies. With the high-resolution (4km) Parameter-elevation Relationships on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) historical climate dataset, this study analyzed temporal trends and spatial variation patterns in annual and seasonal mean temperature and total precipitation in Texas for the past century since 1895 and for the last 30 years. Statistics between the US Historical Climatology Network station data and the PRISM data showed a high level of consistency. Ordinary least squared regression was performed on time series at ten climate divisions level and the entire state, and it revealed that the annual temperature over Texas decreased slightly during the period 1895–2019 but statistically significantly at a rate of -0.036°C/year during 1990–2019, with summer and winter experiencing the significant cooling almost across the whole state. Annual precipitation has been in general decreasing over the past century, but an increasing trend of 4.913 mm/year was shown as being highly significant for the last 30 years. This increase in precipitation was found most pronounced in Trans Pecos, South-central, and Lower Valley divisions during either summer or autumn. These results, in contradiction to global warming, intend to stimulate further exploration of climate facts.

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