Austin, Texas is a great city with lots to do. But summer is especially challenging because the weather is so extreme and can be so terrible. Summer begins as early as May and can run as late as October. Temperatures can go as high as 112 degrees although that would be the most extreme. The summer of 2011 was one of the worst on record. There was a week when the temperatures were 106 degrees plus every day.
If one can talk about an average, the average summer day is about the mid to high 90s. Nighttime sometimes cools off to the 80s and can be comfortable depending on the heat and humidity. But heat and humidity can also cause some uncomfortable nights.
Every business is air conditioned but sometimes businesses keep their establishments too cool. You should always carry a light sweater or shawl, just in case.
Although Austin is inland, there are some beautiful places to go swimming. There are many lakes and rivers. However, they can be treacherous. Numerous and regular drownings occur every summer averaging about two or three each week. Sometimes there have been as many as two or three on the same day. The problem is that the lakes are man made. The Colorado River has been dammed to create a series of beautiful lakes. These lakes are shallow at the shore but can drop down unexpectedly, sometimes dropping 20 feet or more. The majority of persons drowning are tourists or visitors. You should not go swimming in the lakes unless you are a very strong swimmer and or wearing life preservers. When it comes to the rivers and other swimming holes, there is a strong undertow which causes problems.
Just like any other time of year, there is great music in Austin. There is one festival that kicks off the summer and one that closes summer. The Kerrville Folk Festival begins Memorial Day Weekend and goes for the next three weeks. The Austin City Limits Festival ends the summer either in September or October. Dates vary for The ACL Festival but it is always either in September or October.
Weather can be and has been a problem for both festivals. Sometimes it is the heat but other times it is the dust or torrential rains.
If you plan to be in Austin, Texas anytime during the warm months, be certain to come prepared for the weather. It is going to be hot and sometimes extremely hot. There might be problems with dust and or with torrential rains. Check the weather before you leave.
This article is not meant to deter you from visiting Austin between May through October. It has been written to make the reader more aware of our extreme summer weather hopefully allowing you to be somewhat comfortable during these months.