BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - 2017 was an eventful year across the Brazos Valley. From flooding, to snow, to extreme heat, last year was one for the record books.
2017 will go down as the 3rd warmest year on record in College Station, just losing out to 2011 and 2012 as the two warmest years on record. In fact, four of the five warmest years on record have occurred since 2011 at Easterwood Airport in College Station.
The year would go down as the 10th wettest year on record, despite experiencing the wettest month on record in August. A whopping 21.02" of rain fell at Easterwood Airport in College Station. The wettest year on record was 1968 with 61.04" of rain.
The year started out on a warm note with February going down as the warmest on record. Temperatures were well above normal for the month and we crushed the previous record for the warmest February on record by over 3 degrees.
March was yet another warm month for the Brazos Valley and the official climate site in College Station, going down as the 5th warmest on record.
Leading up to the start of the Hurricane Season, the year had been "relatively" quiet, but that was about to change. The month of June brought the first tropical storm to the Texas coast since Bill made landfall in 2015. Tropical Storm Cindy moved ashore near the Sabine Pass on June 22nd. The Brazos Valley saw some rain from Cindy, but the bulk of the precipitation remained to our east.
The Summer heat really started to take over as we worked our way into the months of July and August. Temperatures soared into the upper 90s and lower 100s for the entire month. The first 100 degree day of the year occurred on July 15th, followed by a string of 4 straight days in the 100s at the end of the month. Highs never dropped below 90° for the month and July 2017 went down as the 8th warmest on record and one of the driest, with just 0.79" by month's end. That was all about to change as the Brazos Valley entered the month of August.
August 2017 started out like most do in the Brazos Valley; hot and humid. For the most part, temperatures hit the upper 90s to lower 100s through the 24th. On August 21st, the Brazos Valley was treated to a solar eclipse that was seen from coast to coast across the US. Many people got out and witnessed the eclipse as clouds broke just in time for the Brazos Valley.
It's steamy, but we're ready! pic.twitter.com/YOKipGtlKB— Max Crawford (@KBTXMax) August 21, 2017
Just a few short days later, that all came to an end as Hurricane Harvey brought its wrath to southeast Texas and the Brazos Valley.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the evening of August 25th near Rockport, Texas, making it the first hurricane to make landfall in Texas since Ike in 2008. Harvey was also the first major hurricane (category 3 or higher) to make landfall in Texas since Hurricane Bret did in 1999. Harvey was also the first major hurricane to make landfall in the US since Wilma did it back in 2005.
Harvey brought significant wind damage to the Corpus Christi area as it made landfall.
Once Harvey moved inland, it stalled out for several days, dropping catastrophic rainfall on SE Texas. College Station experienced it's rainiest month on record for the month of August and rainiest month ever with nearly 2 feet of rain. Most of that fell over a 3 day span from August 25th-27th. The wettest day was August 26th with 7.45" at Easterwood Airport. Harvey would ultimately drop the most rainfall ever from a tropical cyclone in the United States, with an insane total of 60.58" in Nederland, Texas. Many locations picked up more than 2 feet of rain from Harvey, with portions of Burleson, Grimes, Montgomery, Walker, Washington, Waller, and Austin counties picking up over 30 inches of rainfall in just a couple of days.
Not surprisingly, #HurricaneHarvey gave way to the most amount of rainfall in #2017--yielding 60.58 inches in Nederland, TX. Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Wilma in 2005. pic.twitter.com/UvDV8Lv9mq— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) December 31, 2017
Harvey finally weakened to a Tropical Depression after 117 hours as a named storm over land.
Moving into the months of September and October, the Brazos Valley experienced much drier conditions and actually went into a small drought. Temperatures were warmer than average, but no monthly temperature records were broken.
November brought warmer than normal temperatures, going down as the 3rd warmest November on record. Easterwood Airport only received 4.51" for the months of September, October, and November, nearly 7 inches below normal for that three month stretch.
December will go down as one of the more interesting months for the Brazos Valley, with snow being the main attraction.
On December 7th, a quick round of heavy snow moved through the area, dropping significant snow for several communities, including Bryan and College Station. Easterwood Airport recorded the most snow in a calendar day since January 11th, 1973, when 5" also fell at the airport.
Some other notable totals around the Brazos Valley.
On a scale of one to Texan, how crazy is it that these are among the biggest snow flakes I’ve ever seen? pic.twitter.com/zBW9XdZqE6— Max Crawford (@KBTXMax) December 8, 2017
2017 was a wild ride for weather and certainly go down as one to remember. We'll have to see what 2018 has in store for the Brazos Valley, but odds are, it will likely be another up and down year in the weather department.