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HomeHomeWildflower Seas...Wildflower Seas...TexasTexasSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season Initial AnalysisSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season Initial Analysis
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2/1/2018 12:57 PM

Spring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season: Initial Analysis


Anomalous Season – based solely on rainfall and average temperatures, I do not see evidence for an above average wildflower season across all of Texas. But there were some anomalies that might help some locations to have at least an average season. 


Anomaly 1: Hurricane Harvey brought more rain than anyone in South Texas wanted at one time. That rainfall came late in August and based on some reports I have seen, it likely helped germinate some plants early.

Anomaly 2: September rainfall west of I-35 was at or above normal in most spots, but east of I-35 the rainfall was well below normal. This is opposite of what is expected in September.

Anomaly 3: December rainfall was above normal for most of South Texas and at or below normal for most other areas.  Usually, we see a dry spell in December while the plants slumber a bit, but above average rainfall should not be a negative. 

Anomaly 4: Average temperature statewide for November 2017 was 5.8 degrees above normal. Areas that did receive adequate rainfall late in November might have seen ground temperatures still warm enough for germination (see Climate at a Glance -  )

Anomaly 5: December average temperature was 1.3 degrees above normal, but rainfall for most of South Texas was above normal. Normally, we see a cool and dry climate during December.  (see Climate at a Glance - )

Anomaly 6: January average temperature for Texas has been below normal with South Texas well below normal.

Anomaly 7: Jet Stream Vortex anomalies have been once again creating above wide variances in rainfall and temperatures. When Texas is on the east or directly under the wobble, we tend to have cooler temperatures with some possibility of rain. When Texas is on the west side of the wobble we tend to have warmer temperatures and less chance of rain. 

Graphic created based based map from -

Anomaly 8: A weak-to-moderate La Niña which has not had much impact on our weather, but at times does not seem to act even like the typical La Niña. Take a look at the graphic above in Anomaly 7 and you will notice a Pacific jet stream interacting with the polar jet wobble. Normally, that jet would be retracted from the west and much further north, but the wobble seems to be blocking it. See: and


Where the rain did fall in late August and September, this might have been enough to germinate seeds, especially bluebonnet seeds. The question is how well have those seedlings faired since then. Since October, the rainfall for most areas has been below normal with the exception of South Texas during December. Until we can get some onsite reports of how the plants are doing, right now the best guess I have is that areas west of I-35 and south of I-10 have the best chance of some nice displays. The cooler temperatures so far in January have probably helped slow down the process and with at least average rainfall and average temperatures in February and March that might raise the chances for even better displays. It is very important to remember that rainfall and temperatures are just factors that impact how well a wildflower season will be in Texas. Even with the best outcome of rainfall and temperatures other factors might negatively impact the growth and flowering of our wildflowers. This includes:

  • Plenty of sunshine at the right time
  • Competing vegetation
  • Topography and soil
  • Proper mowing/grazing

What is critical is whether there are plants out there and if they are healthy. So, if you have seen areas with good coverage of bluebonnet rosettes or seedlings from other wildflowers please post to the following thread on our Facebook page at:

HomeHomeWildflower Seas...Wildflower Seas...TexasTexasSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season Initial AnalysisSpring 2018 Texas Wildflower Season Initial Analysis