The climate of the Big Thicket area is ideal for growing plants. The average precipitation of 55 inches a year is well-distributed and keeps the vegetation green and growing nearly year-round except in years of drought. Summers are warm and humid with daytime temperatures between 85 and 95 degrees (F), with some peaks to 100 or more. Humidity levels can match the temperature on many of the summer days so desiccation of plants is not a big concern. Moderate temperatures in the mid 50’s to 60’s are the norm for the winter, with temperatures below freezing rare occurrences dependent on large artic fronts pushing this far south. Snow and ice storms are rare and rarely cause damage to vegetation or leave snow on the ground for long. Most of the hardwoods do shed their leaves and the bald cypress needles turn red as they shed their needles. Tornadoes are rare occurrences, but the area is in the ‘hurricane alley’ so plants and animals must be able to withstand or rebound from the high winds, heavy rainfall, saturated soils, and flooding that accompany these large weather events. Recent hurricanes include Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 which both had significant impacts on some of the units of the Preserve and resulted in much blow-down of trees and tree tops to the forest floors.
The Climate of Big Thicket
Last updated: April 10, 2015