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October rains brings relief, but outlook still dry

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October’s cooler, wetter weather was a welcome change from the brutal, record-setting summer we survived. 

Both October and November are big ‘transition months’ with significant month-to-month temperature drops.  Most welcome of all was our above-normal precipitation during October.   

Here’s a good example of the temperature range we had during the month.    Our warmest high temperature was 89 on the 7th.  Our coolest high of 57 degrees was recorded less than three weeks later on the 27th.  We also had some scattered frost on the morning of October 29th when we touched 35 degrees for an overnight low. 

We had several days of recorded rainfall;
a trace on the 6th,
.65” on the 8th,
1.51” on the 9th,
1.52” on the 12th,
.28” on the 17th,
.54” on the 23rd and
.28” again on October 27. 

Total rainfall for October was 4.78” which was well above our average October quota of about 4 inches. 

In DFW, the average date of our first freeze is November 22.  Accounting for Denton’s location and density, we can usually expect our average first freeze a little earlier, by November 17.  The generally-accepted variance is two weeks before or after that average first-freeze date.  And with the latest cold fronts in the past week, much of Denton County has already touched freezing at least once.  We normally have our last average freeze in mid-March, around St. Patrick’s Day but we’ve had freezes as late as mid-April. 

As mild and moist as October was, our long-range predictions are really no better than they were several months ago.  Thanks to the placement of jet streams and storm tracks, we are still expecting our weather to be drier than normal and slightly warmer than normal this fall and winter. 

Water conservation during the less-demanding cooler months will have a critical impact on our circumstances when it begins to get windy and warmer again in the spring.

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820 AM/96.7 FM and Founder of WeatherInTouch.net warning technologies.

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About The Author

Brad Barton

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP 820/570 KLIF/99.5 "The Wolf." Read his column on Denton County weather each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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