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Spring storm season finally arrives

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May of 2013 will be known as “the month the storms finally arrived.”  They weren’t enough to break the drought, merely bend it.  At least the rains came at the right time and kept us noticeably cooler than our climatological norms. 

Our average high during May was 81; the average low, 58, which resulted in an average monthly temperature of 69 degrees- two degrees below normal. 

Although rainfall was disappointing, it was much appreciated.  As the month came to a close, Denton had nearly 3 inches (2.85”) in the rain gauge.  Rainfall was .07” on May 2nd, .04” May 9th, 1.87” May 15th, .39” May 21st, .12” on the 24th, .25” on May 25th and .10” during the storms May 29th, with trace amounts on the 8th, 20th, and 23rd. 

Normal rainfall for May is over 4.5 inches. 

Severe weather approached Denton County several times, including May 15th when tornadoes struck in rural Montague County, Granbury, Cleburne and Ennis.  Survey teams from the National Weather Service confirmed 18 tornadoes May 15th, but none in Denton County. 

Another line of storms raked across Denton County May 21st with scattered tree, roof and fence damage from winds of 60 to 65 mph. 

The last big outbreak was the evening of May 29th, when 60 mph winds and 1-2” hail pounded the eastern half of Denton County.  Parts of Flower Mound, Highland Village, Lewisville, Corinth, Denton, Aubrey and Pilot Point all had some hail.  The worst hail, 2” in diameter was confirmed in the City of Denton area. 

Lightning sparked a fire that heavily damaged a two-story home in the 9300 block of Blanco in the Carlisle subdivision of Lantana. 

There is very little to suggest any significant change in our weather regime through June.  The climate models based on the El Nino Southern Oscillation suggest nothing because ocean temperatures remain near normal.  The most recent weather trends suggest June will be drier and warmer than normal, but a large part of that forecast is based on the persistent drought.  Low lake levels, less vegetation and dry soil contribute less moisture to the atmosphere and tend to perpetuate drought, yet the late start to our severe weather season could mean a few more outbreaks of strong storms during June. 

With that in mind, here are four websites with updated emergency weather information, including still images and video of the Granbury and Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes: 

www.ntxweather.com
www.wbap.com
www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd
www.weatherintouch.net  

By the way, those annoying alert-tones that interrupt radio, TV and cable channels during severe weather are not meant solely to get your attention.  They actually trigger emergency alert system (EAS) receivers allowing dozens of radio stations (many of which are not staffed) to rebroadcast the primary EAS station’s warning to their own listeners.  WBAP is the primary EAS station in North Texas and the only local radio station required to activate EAS for all tornado, severe thunderstorm and flash flood warnings in its assigned 12-country area in North Texas.   

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP 820AM/96.7FM/KLIF 570AM and president of WeatherInTouch.net.

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About The Author

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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