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Old 03-05-2007, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Default Texas climate; cloudiness?

After looking up many stats I've found something I find strange; before you hit West TX, the further west and south you go, the cloudier the climate becomes.

I looked up several sunshine stats and found the further south you go down the Gulf Coast the cloudier autumn, winters and springs get.

For example, Beaumont and Houston get at least 10% more sunshine for every non-summer month as Brownsville gets, even though Beaumont gets twice the annual rain as Brownsville does. Annual sunshine might be about the same due to South TX's sunny summers.

I also found that Oklahoma City is much sunnier than Dallas, Dallas is a fair bit sunnier than Austin, and so on. Even Little Rock, Arkansas is much sunnier than Dallas, TX.

Does anyone have any idea where all this extra cloud comes from?
It seems strange that none of the other southern states are affected by this weather pattern.

My best guess is that perhaps there might be some mountains nearby in Mexico that somehow modify the weather of South, Central and East Texas.
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Old 03-05-2007, 02:19 PM
 
Location: San Antonio. Tx 78209
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You kinda have the right idea. Moisture often is able to stream in to south, central texas from the Pacific, along with moisture from the gulf it allows more cloudy conditions.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Texas
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hmmm i dunno...i live almost an hour south of Corpus Christi and its pretty dern sunny here most of the time! and nice breeze too!
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Old 03-05-2007, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellestaroftexas View Post
hmmm i dunno...i live almost an hour south of Corpus Christi and its pretty dern sunny here most of the time! and nice breeze too!
Strange...

Well a friend of mine from central NC says that over there it's impossible for them to not see the sun for a whole week. (another place apparently sunnier than most of Texas in winter)

When I was there in winter, the only times it ever got overcast was a few hours before it rained, and sometimes it remained overcast for a single day following a rainy day. Every other day seemed to range from partly cloudy to clear blue skies.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Anyways, this thread was meant to be hopefully informative for myself and maybe others, not to bash Texas.

On a positive note, East TX, Central TX and South Texas look like they might get warmer average overnight lows as compared to other southern states further east. This extra cloud cover, or the winds that can cause it could be part of the reason. This could possibly help extend the growing season.
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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I don't know if it is anything as dramatic as mountains affecting the weather. Along I-35 in Central Texas, there is a fairly significant rise in the terrain along the Balcones fault line. Locally, this seems to have an effect on the weather, with the more severe weather occuring on the 'high' ground. Cold air typically comes in from the NW or the NNW, with moisture flowing in from either the SE (Gulf air) or the SW (Pacific air). The SE moisture is, by far, the more typical, but the SW air can be more 'massive' when the weather patterns are right. Anyway, I think that cold fronts often stall around the line of the hill country (plus or minus). This probably results in more cloudiness, on average, in central Texas than West or SE Texas.

As for CC being cloudier than Houston, I am not sure that that is a noticeable difference...10% more is what, one more day of clouds a month? I could be wrong, but both places have always seemed pretty sunny to me; however, I have never lived in CC, so maybe it does get some more clouds.

I am curious, is a day designated cloudy, or is hour by hour? There are some days that are only cloudy for a few hours before a storm and then the sun pops out again. I wonder if those are cloudy days or not. I am no meterologist, but I have several that work down the hall...might go ask em, now that you got me curious .
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
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I know the weather forecasters here in San Antonio always talk about the mountains in Mexico doing something or another to our weather here. Esp when there is a tropical storm on the pacific side or in the gulf. As far as cloudiness goes when I lived in Nebraska i was shocked at how cloudy all the time it was, all day for days on end esp inthe winter. Here we have clouds in the morning but usually they burn off by 10am or so and its sun the rest of the day (most of the time)
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
I am curious, is a day designated cloudy, or is hour by hour? There are some days that are only cloudy for a few hours before a storm and then the sun pops out again. I wonder if those are cloudy days or not. I am no meterologist, but I have several that work down the hall...might go ask em, now that you got me curious .
The figures I was looking at was average hours of sunshine per month. Sorry if I didn't mention it before.

For the month of December, CC averages 135 hours of sunshine. Divide that by 31 days and that gives you an average of 4 hours and 21 minutes of sunshine. I also found out that CC's shortest days are still 10 hours and 23 minutes. So that leaves 6 hours of daylight without sunshine.

So when you do the math, about 42% of all daylight hours in Corpus Christi you see sun and 58% you won't. This figure seemed strange to me since the stats also said CC only averages 5 days of measurable precipitation in December.

Tampa FL averages 192 hours of sunshine in December and since it's about the same latitude also gets about the same amount of daylight. When you do the math, Tampa gets about 6 hours of sunshine in a 10 hour day.

The Corpus Christi figures seemed strange to me since the stats also said both Tampa and Corpus average 5 days of measurable precipitation in December.

Toronto gets 53 hours of sun in December.
When you do the math that equals 1 hour and 43 minutes per day, or 22% of daylight hours have sun and 78% of them don't.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Hmm...for CC, that just not sound right. Now, if by not see the sun, it means there is a puffy little white cloud when you look for the sun, then that might be true. I kind of think of the coastal clouds when I see the beginning of the 'Simpson's'....lots of puffy clouds in a blue sky that are not any threat to produce rain. I suspect the data may be from a light monitor, which may indicate that there are cloudy hours when the clouds give too much shade, but I would never consider it overcast.
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Old 03-06-2007, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Perth, Western Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainwreck20 View Post
Hmm...for CC, that just not sound right. Now, if by not see the sun, it means there is a puffy little white cloud when you look for the sun, then that might be true. I kind of think of the coastal clouds when I see the beginning of the 'Simpson's'....lots of puffy clouds in a blue sky that are not any threat to produce rain. I suspect the data may be from a light monitor, which may indicate that there are cloudy hours when the clouds give too much shade, but I would never consider it overcast.
That makes sense as it seems from my vacations in central FL it is not overcast more than 10% of the time in winter. I do remember seeing clouds block the sun while most of the sky was still blue or partly cloudy.

Those clouds you see on the coast would have to be spread all over Texas to explain the overcast, but that is an excellent description of how the skies might look.
Thanks Trainwreck.
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