The Climate of Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls is a city in north Texas near the Oklahoma border. With a population of over 104,000, it’s the largest city in and seat of Wichita County. Wichita Falls has a unique climate that brings extremes in temperatures, storms, and weather fluctuations throughout the year. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Wichita Falls weather so distinctive.

Geographic Location Effects

Wichita Falls’ latitude and inland position combine to shape its climate patterns:

  • Located at 33.9° N latitude, putting it on the southern end of the Great Plains region
  • Positioned inland from any major bodies of water or mountain ranges
  • Part of the South Central United States Plains ecological region

This geographic placement means Wichita Falls has a largely temperate climate, though its inland nature makes it prone to temperature extremes. The lack of marine influences also means precipitation patterns can fluctuate wildly year to year. Overall, the city sees hot summers, mild falls, cold winters, and stormy springs.

Average Temperatures

Wichita Falls has hot summers and mild to cold winters, typical of north Texas:

  • Summer highs average 94°F, with 100°F+ days common
  • Winter highs average 55°F, with overnight lows around freezing
  • Spring sees highs of 70-80°F, quickly warming by May
  • Fall daily highs in the 70s-80s°F, cooling off by November

The highest recorded temperature was 117°F in 1980, while the coldest was -8°F in 1989. Daily variations of 30-40°F are not uncommon as seasons change.

Diurnal Temperature Variation

Wichita Falls has a high diurnal temperature range, meaning daytime and nighttime temps can vary significantly:

-Summer overnight lows average 72°F, about 20 degrees cooler than daytime highs

  • Winters see highs around 55°F but lows at freezing or below
  • Large temperature swings occur in fall and spring due to seasonal changes

This fluctuation is typical of inland climates with low humidity and cloud cover.

Precipitation Patterns

With an average annual rainfall of 30 inches, Wichita Falls gets less precipitation than coastal Texas:

  • Most rain falls in May and June during the spring storm season
  • Winters are the driest season, with just 2-3 inches monthly

Wichita Falls precipitation often arrives from thunderstorms, which can drop heavy rain over short periods. The wettest year on record saw 50.5 inches in 2015.


Prolonged droughts are common, since inland areas lack reliable moisture sources:

  • From 2010-2015, an extreme drought dropped reservoirs to only 26% capacity
  • The 1950s saw a devastating 7-year drought across Texas and Oklahoma
  • Trees declined, crop yields fell, and wildfires increased during these dry periods

Multi-year droughts exacerbate water scarcity, strain agriculture, and elevate wildfire risk.

Severe Weather Events

Wichita Falls’ location in “Tornado Alley” leads to frequent severe storms:


  • An average of 12 tornadoes within 25 miles of the city per year
  • An F5 tornado in 1979 caused over $400 million in damage
  • In April 1964, two F4 tornadoes hit the city in one night

Tornado season runs from April-June, with most forming from supercell thunderstorms.

Hail Storms

Large hail is a hazards, causing costly property damage:

  • Softball-sized (4+ inch diameter) hail happens almost annually
  • April 2018 saw baseball-sized hail smash windows and vehicles
  • Hail this size can injure people and animals outdoors

Storms between March and May often produce hail.

High Winds

Powerful winds frequently gust over 60 mph:

  • Wind speeds hit 114 mph in a 1993 derecho that injured 9
  • Gusts over 75 mph occur a few times per year, downing trees and power lines
  • Dust storms reduce visibility and air quality during dry periods

Thunderstorms, derechos, and downslope winds off the plains are common triggers.

Seasonal Climate Patterns

Wichita Falls has four distinct seasons, each with characteristic weather:


  • Daily highs in the 50s°F, lows below freezing
  • Around 2 inches of rain monthly
  • Occasional ice storms; 4” of snow per year
  • Strong north winds; wind chills in teens

Winters are mild overall but prone to arctic cold snaps that dip temps into the single digits. Frozen precipitation occurs during storm systems.


  • 70-80°F highs by late April
  • Average 15 inches of rain, heaviest in May
  • Severe weather peaks: hail, tornadoes, flooding
  • Trees leaf out and wildflowers bloom by mid-March

Spring is a transitional period with wild temp/precipitation swings. Stormy, wet weather arrives along with warmer temps and plant growth.


  • Hot and humid, highs in the 90s°F
  • Overnight lows around 75°F provide little relief
  • Less rain, around 3-4 inches monthly
  • Long growing season for crops from May-September

The hot, sunny summer months see high water usage. Outdoor activities only take place during the cooler morning and evening hours.


  • Daily highs in the 80s°F, dropping to the 60s by November
  • Around 5 inches of rain monthly
  • Tropical storms can bring heavy rains and flooding
  • Mild weather and fall foliage by late October

Fall is a second spring, with pleasant weather before winter’s arrival. The first freezes typically occur by early November.

Unique Aspects of Wichita Falls Weather

Some additional elements make Wichita Falls weather distinctive:

  • Redbeds: These wind-blown, iron-rich dust layers color the soil vivid red. Their dust gets swept up into hazy orange skies during storms or drought.
  • Gusty Winds: North winds averaging 15-20 mph are common year-round. The windswept flat terrain contributes.
  • Lake Effects: Area lakes moderate temperatures slightly but increase humidity and storm activity.
  • Flood Risk: Clay-rich soils absorb little rainfall, leading to increased overland flooding during heavy storms.
  • Agricultural Impacts: Hot summers suit cotton growth, but varying precipitation affects crop yields year-to-year.

In summary, Wichita Falls has a continental climate prone to extremes given its inland placement within the stormy Great Plains. The city’s weather forms a constant backdrop to everyday life for over 100,000 Texans.


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  • Start out heading north on I-44 W. Take exit 1A to merge onto US-277 N/US-281 N toward Wichita Falls. Drive for about 13 miles then use the right 2 lanes to take exit 1A for TX-240 Loop/Kell Fwy toward Downtown/Sheppard AFB. Continue on TX-240 Loop W for 4 miles then use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Kemp Blvd. In 0.6 miles, turn right onto Dunbarton Dr. The destination will be on the right in 0.3 miles.
  • Begin on US-277 N in Burkburnett. Drive north for approximately 11 miles and take exit 46 for TX-240 Loop W/Kell Fwy toward Downtown/Sheppard AFB. Stay straight to continue on TX-240 Loop W for 4 miles. Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Kemp Blvd. After 0.6 miles, make a right onto Dunbarton Dr. 4500 Dunbarton Dr will be on the right side in 0.3 miles.
  • Head west on I-44 W and take exit 46A to merge onto US-277 N toward Wichita Falls. In about 12.5 miles, take exit 1A to get on TX-240 Loop W/Kell Fwy going west. Stay on TX-240 Loop W for 4 miles then use the left lanes to turn left onto Kemp Blvd. Drive 0.6 miles and turn right onto Dunbarton Dr. The destination will soon be on the right after driving 0.3 miles more.