Ask Anthony – Why Is Conroe Colder?

Weather station KCXO, Conroe airport, is in a rurally wind-protected, somewhat “bowl-shaped” locale in relation to the surrounding topography. This layout allows winds to go calm many nights, especially in the cooler months. This equates to more efficient radiative cooling. This location records temperatures that can be on average 5 to 8 degrees colder than even a mile or two away. The geography can also create a ‘drainage effect’ where cool air (sinking) flows into the weather station. The National Weather Service states the gauge is calibrated and maintained properly. A more accurate temperature reading for the city would be accomplished if the NWS moved the gauge to, perhaps City Hall, but airports get priority in terms of these official gauges which cost about $10,000 to install and $2,000 a month to maintain.

Concerning Lake Conroe: You can not compare this much smaller (cooler) interior lake to the much larger (and warmer) Gulf of Mexico… so it is simply a scale issue. The lake is 10 miles to the West Northwest of the airport. The small size of the cooler freshwater Lake Conroe and the distance from KCXO is the main factor as to why you can’t compare Conroe to Galveston. The Galveston weather station is in a tropical maritime environment, where warm moist winds blow over Scholes Field.  –  Anthony 

Temperature Monday morning at 6 a.m.

I had a random question for you – why does it seem like on every forecast, regardless of time of year, that the temperature reading in Conroe is always 3-6 degrees colder than the rest of the viewing area – even those areas to the north of Conroe?? I wouldnt think Conroe would typically be colder than say College Station but more times than not it is…
Wes Raska

Hi Anthony,
Why is Conroe’s winter temperature 2 to 3 degrees cooler than surrounding cities.  Galveston’s temp is warmer in the winter because of the effect of the surrounding Gulf of Mexico.  Why doesn’t Lake Conroe have a similar effect on the city of Conroe?  My thought is that their thermometer is incorrect, unless you have another explanation.  I await your answer.
Edmond McGee

Just wanted to make a comment about the temperature for Conroe. I live 11 miles west of Conroe and have two friends who live in Conroe. I have two digital and one standard thermometer while they both have two digital as well. The low temps that are given out of Conroe typically are anywhere from 5-10 degrees cooler then the actual temperature. You might want to investigate the reporting method out of this area.
Kind Regards,
Darin Barrow

How come Conroe usually has cooler temps than surrounding cities?  Does Lake Conroe play a part in this? Scratching my head,
John Powers


4 Responses

  1. Evidently that low location gives a false temperature reading for the Conroe general area, and would be better served to move it to a more typical area to measure a more representative reading. It annoys me to routinely see their reading so different from the surrounding area. I can remember when Houston’s official temperature was measured from down town, before moving it to the air port.

    • Hi Edmond,
      If you read the end of the post I explain why all of the official reporting stations are placed at an airport.

  2. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people about this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

    • Thanks Drake, appreciate it.

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