Discover the Absolute Hottest Place in Texas

Monahans Sandhills
© iStock.com/DenisTangneyJr

Written by Jesse Elop

Updated: July 15, 2023

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If you have ever visited the Lone Star State, you are probably aware of just how hot it can get there. Pack your sunscreen and put on your tank top because this article will explore the hottest places in Texas, the animals that live there, and the record-setting temperatures they endure.

Climate in Texas

Texas has a diverse climate due to its vast size and geographical features. The state experiences a predominantly semi-arid to arid climate, with hot summers and mild winters, however, there are regional variations throughout the state. The western and southwestern regions, including areas like El Paso, have a desert climate characterized by low rainfall, high temperatures, and dry conditions. In contrast, the eastern and coastal regions, such as Houston and Galveston, have a humid subtropical climate with higher rainfall and more moderate temperatures.

State Highway 16, Duval County, Texas, USA.

Dry scrubland dominates a large area of Texas and consists of various grass and shrub species.

©William L. Farr / CC BY-SA 4.0 – Original / License

Summers in Texas can be sweltering, particularly in the central and western parts of the state. Average high temperatures range from the mid-90s to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (35-38 degrees Celsius), with occasional heat waves pushing the mercury even higher. The state receives abundant sunshine during the summer months, contributing to the high temperatures. Heatwaves and droughts are not uncommon, and residents often rely on air conditioning and water conservation measures to cope with the extreme heat.

Winters in Texas are relatively mild, especially in the southern parts of the state. Average high temperatures during winter range from the 50s to the 70s Fahrenheit (10-20 degrees Celsius), although temperatures can drop below freezing, especially in the northern and western regions. Snowfall is more common in the Panhandle and the northern parts of Texas, while areas along the Gulf Coast rarely experience freezing temperatures. Winter storms occasionally bring freezing rain and ice to central and eastern parts of the state and can impact transportation and daily life. Overall, Texas experiences a wide range of climates, making it a state of climatic diversity.

Animals in Texas

headshot of greater roadrunner with nesting material at Veteran's Oasis Park in Chandler, Arizona.

Roadrunners are well-adapted to the heat in Texas.

©AZ Outdoor Photography/Shutterstock.com

Texas is home to a variety of animal species that have evolved and adapted to survive in the state’s hot and often challenging climate. One example of an animal adapted to the heat is the roadrunner. These iconic birds have long legs for efficient running, allowing them to cover large distances while conserving energy. They also have specialized nasal glands that help them excrete excess salt, enabling them to live in arid environments. Roadrunners are opportunistic feeders that adapt their diet to the available food sources during different seasons and utilize their keen eyesight and agility to catch prey.

A Texas horned lizard resting on a rock with a blurred stone background.

The Texas

horned lizard

has scales that aid in water retention.

©iStock.com/Shoemcfly

Another notable animal adapted to the hot climate of Texas is the Texas horned lizard, also known as the “horny toad.” These reptiles have unique adaptations to cope with the arid conditions. Their flattened body helps them stay close to the ground, minimizing exposure to the intense heat. Texas horned lizards are also covered in scales that aid in reducing water loss through their skin. Additionally, they are capable of shooting blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism against predators. By utilizing these adaptations, Texas horned lizards can thrive in the dry, hot regions of the state.

The Hottest Place in Texas

Map of Laredo, Texas

The hottest place in Texas is typically considered to be the city of Laredo.

©PredragLasica/Shutterstock.com

The hottest place in Texas is typically considered to be the city of Laredo. Located in southern Texas along the border with Mexico, Laredo experiences extremely high temperatures during the summer months. It is known for its scorching heat, with average high temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). The hottest temperature ever recorded in Laredo was on June 17th, 1908, when the city reached 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Other hot areas in Texas include cities like McAllen, Del Rio, and El Paso, which also experience high temperatures due to their proximity to the desert regions.

The Highest Temperature Ever in Texas

The highest temperature ever recorded in Texas was 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). This record was set in Seymour, Texas on August 12, 1936. Seymour is in Baylor County where the average high temperatures are between 95- and 105-degrees Fahrenheit in July and August.

Monahans Sandhills

The Monahans Sandhills State Park in Texas features beautiful, rolling sand dunes.

©iStock.com/brucemaloneatx

 The record-setting temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit occurred again on June 28, 1994, in the city of Monahans, located in Ward County, Texas. Monahans is part of the Permian Basin region and is known for its hot and arid climate. The temperatures in Monahans and the surrounding area can be quite high during the summer months. From June to August, the average high temperature ranges from the mid-90s to the low 100s Fahrenheit (around 35-40 degrees Celsius). The region experiences a desert-like climate with very little rainfall and high temperatures, making it one of the hotter areas in Texas.


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About the Author

Jesse Elop is a graduate from the University of Oregon now working at the University of Washington National Primate Research Center. He is passionate about wildlife and loves learning about animal biology and conservation. His favorite animals- besides his pup, Rosie- are zebras, mandrills, and bonobos. Jesse's background in biology and anthropology have supplied him with many fun facts that might just pop up in some of his articles!

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