Agency ranks 2011 as driest year ever in Texas

January 7, 2012 - 1:00 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — The National Weather Service says 2011 was Texas' driest year on record as well as its second hottest.

The agency said Friday the average rainfall for the drought-stricken state last year was 14.88 inches. The previous driest average total was in 1917 with 14.99 inches.

The weather service says 2011's average temperature was 67.2 degrees. Texas' warmest year on record was in 1921 with an average temperature of 67.5 degrees.

Last year Texas suffered its worst single-year drought, its largest agricultural losses and the hottest summer in U.S. history. From June through August, Texas averaged 86.8 degrees, beating out Oklahoma's 85.2 degrees in 1934.

The current drought started in fall 2010. Forecasters say it is expected to drag on at least through June.