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When looking at the map of Texas, I try to comprehend how these two cities, Austin and Dallas, could have such different climates yet be in the same state. If I can compare it to my home state of Michigan, I understand more and get a better picture of how the weather is so different from one city to another.

For example, where I live in Southeast Michigan, we have much milder and warmer temperatures than, let’s say, Traverse City, which is a four-hour drive away. I remember one year we went up north, even further, to camp in the Upper Peninsula (UP) at Straits State Park in Mackinaw County on Labor Day weekend. We left 80-degree weather downstate, to 40 degrees during the day and 30s at night in the UP. In fact, the day we were leaving, it was snowing!

For a frame of reference, when we lower Mitten Michiganders say we are going “up north,” we are referring to any city north of Saginaw. Similar to how New Yorkers say they’re vacationing “up state”. Either way, we’re referring to getting out of the city and heading to places where we have land to roam, fresh air to breathe, and clear, unsalted, great lakes to play in.

Back to Texas…now I can understand better how Austin and Dallas weather can differ even though they are located in the same state. Dallas has colder, freezing winters and less humidity. Austin historically has more temperate weather with high humidity.  

When you take the average daily high temperature for the past ten summers, the city with the hottest average may surprise you. With an average of 97.6 degrees, the hottest major Texas city is El Paso. Austin comes in as the second hottest, followed by San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston. So there you go; Dallas is lower on the list than Austin.

When my cousins got married, they moved to Texas. They ended up choosing to live in the Austin area versus Dallas or Houston, as her sister-in-law lived in Dallas for some time and learned what areas would be more prone to endure natural disasters.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, “With damage costing $2.6 billion, Dallas-Fort Worth is the area most prone to destructive tornadoes in Texas. The areas least prone to tornadoes include Austin and San Antonio. Travis and Bexar counties combined have reported 47 tornadoes since 2000, and only three of them have reached EF-2 status or higher,”.

Furthermore, Austin and Houston are both known for their extreme heat and humidity. They are nearly identical in climate and average temperatures due to their close proximity to one another, although Houston faces well over fourteen inches more rain per year.

What is the tornado rating scale?

If you are like me, you’re wondering what in the world EF-2 means. In 1971, a PHD scientist developed the Fujita scale. It has now been expanded and upgraded to the “Expanded Fujita” (EF) scale.

The Texas Tech University Wind Science and Engineering (WISE) Center, along with a forum of nationally renowned meteorologists, private companies, government organizations, private sector meteorologists, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) meteorologists from across the country. This super team developed the EF Scale to improve upon and refine the previous Fujita scale.

Brig. Gen. David L. Johnson, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “The EF scale still estimates wind speeds but more precisely takes into account the materials affected and the construction of the structures damaged by the tornado.”

Here’s a scale provided by the NOAA to show a side-by-side comparison:

Original F Scale
Enhanced F Scale
Rating3 second gust (mph)Rating3 second gust speed (mph)

Who operates NOAA?

NOAA’s aircraft and ships are operated and managed by a combination of NOAA Corps officers, NOAA civilians, and wage marine employees. NOAA Corps officers and OMAO civilians frequently serve as chief scientists on program missions. Fun fact: The average NOAA Marine Technician’s yearly pay in the United States is approximately $133,912, which is 124% above the national average!

According to the NOAA website, it is an Operating Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce dedicated to delivering accurate and dependable weather information. To be a meteorologist and/or hydrologist employed by the National Weather Service, you need a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology, Atmospheric Science, or Hydrology (Physical Science or Engineering).

NOAA employs a wide range of scientists who specialize in various disciplines, such as meteorology, atmospheric science, and hydrology. These experts play a crucial role in collecting and analyzing data, conducting research, and developing models and forecasts to predict weather patterns and understand the intricacies of the Earth’s atmosphere.

In particular, meteorologists and hydrologists employed by the National Weather Service (NWS), a branch of NOAA, are responsible for monitoring weather conditions, issuing timely warnings and forecasts, and disseminating critical information to the public and other government agencies. They work in weather forecast offices located throughout the country, utilizing advanced technology and sophisticated computer models to provide reliable weather predictions.

Which city has better weather Austin or Dallas?

When it comes to determining which city has better weather, Austin or Dallas, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and what the individual considers to be favorable weather conditions. Some people may enjoy the milder winters and higher humidity of Austin, while others may prefer the colder winters and lower humidity of Dallas. Additionally, the risk of tornadoes and severe weather is higher in Dallas compared to Austin.

In conclusion, both Austin and Dallas offer unique and contrasting climates within the state of Texas. While Austin is known for its temperate weather and higher humidity, Dallas experiences colder winters and has a lower risk of tornadoes. The decision of which city has better weather ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities.

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