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January 5, 2013

Local weather in 2012 had a little bit of everything

GREENVILLE — Hunt County enjoyed a relatively quiet weather year during 2012, with one notable exception.

The April 3 tornado outbreak caused widespread damage across the area, but fortunately resulted in no loss of life.

Otherwise, the summer was hot, but fell short of setting any records. It was dry, but the periods of drought conditions weren’t nearly as bad as during 2011. And, there was a White Christmas.

— After 2011 went down as the driest year in the state’s history, 2012 started off with almost five inches of rain during January, about twice the 30-year average for the month. The above normal rainfall continued through much of February, with Hunt County officially being lifted out of drought conditions for the first time in more than a year.

— The start of spring on March 20 saw powerful thunderstorms dump up to six inches of rain within 36 hours at some locations in Hunt County, helping to fill Lake Tawakoni and other reservoirs in the area.

— Hunt County and the surrounding area experienced a tornado outbreak in April. At least one confirmed tornado hit Hunt County during the height of the severe weather on April 3, with multiple homes destroyed in the Union Valley area. Two days after that, the City of Greenville conducted a regularly scheduled test of its emergency warning siren system, which resulted in many local residents claiming they could not hear the seven sirens. City officials have maintained, however, that the sirens were operating that day and continued to function during each monthly test.

— Residents at the north city limits of Greenville felt the brunt of thunderstorms on April 15. Although none of the storms were classified as severe, one which crossed the area that morning left debris scattered across the yards of at least three homes along the 1500 block of Wolfe City Drive.

— The summer was typically hot and dry. Majors Field, the City of Greenville Municipal Airport recorded 21 days of triple digit temperatures between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and another eight days of 99 degree high temperatures. There was a 10-day stretch of triple digit afternoon heat recorded locally between July 29 and Aug. 7. Twice, on Aug. 1 and again on Aug. 9, the mercury in the thermometer  climbed to 106 degrees.

— November was unusually dry for Hunt County and all of North Texas, with only eight-hundredths of an inch of rain recorded locally during the month. The lack of precipitation once again plunged the county into significant drought conditions.

— But the county enjoyed a very White Christmas, with four inches of snow falling on Greenville.

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