After a mild summer, September 2014 goes into the books as one the driest and warmest on record. Denton Municipal recorded less than a quarter-inch of rainfall during the month with at least 13 days topping out at or above 90 degrees.
Our highest temperature for the month was 102 degrees on the 10th. Our coolest overnight low was 52 on the morning of Sept. 24. Our average of day/night temperatures throughout the month worked out to nearly 79 degrees, which was over 1.5 degrees above normal.
Rainfall was spotty at best. We received .07 of an inch on Sept. 12, 08 of an inch on Sept. 19 and .02 of an inch on Sept. 22. Trace amounts were detected on the Sept. 17 and Sept. 20. Total rainfall for the month was just .22 of an inch which was a full two inches below normal for September. As the month came to a close, DFW Airport, which had received only six-hundredths of an inch, was on pace to record the driest September on record.
At least our heat finally broke with an unusually strong first cold front of the season. After a sweltering 102 degrees on the Sept. 10, our highs dropped to 81, 71 and just 69 on Sept. 11, 12 and 13. The first few days of October promised another significant cold front.
Looking ahead, October promises a welcome drop in average temperatures and 3-4 inches of rain, along with a few bouts of severe weather. Our normal high at the beginning of the month is 83 and it drops to 73 by the end of the month.
The Climate Prediction Center is still forecasting wetter-than-normal conditions in October, November and December. Much of that forecast still depends on further warming of the central Pacific El Nino this fall.
While the more generous rainfall forecast is encouraging, the current trend indicates only a weak El Nino, which may not only the delay the onset of heavier rains until November, but may limit the extra rainfall we’re counting on.
Brad Barton is chief meteorologist of WBAP 820AM/570KLIF/KPLX 99.5 “The Wolf.”