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July rains kept wet streak alive

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Meteorologist Brad Barton
Meteorologist Brad Barton

It may not seem like it, but July was another wet month in Denton County with decent rains about every ten days.  It would be hard to ask for more.

For five months in a row, Denton County has been blessed with above-normal rainfall, with both Lewisville Lake and Lake Ray Roberts 100-percent full at the end of July.

July was also slightly hotter than normal. Every daytime high this month was in the 90’s, averaging near 96 degrees. We reached 99 on both the 11th and 23rd, but did not hit 100 officially in July.

We touched the upper 60’s on a couple mornings, but our average overnight low was 74, leaving us with a day-night average temperature for the month of 85, about 1 degree warmer than normal.

Rainfall was well-dispersed during the month. Denton Enterprise Airport recorded .69″ in a three-day span covering July 3-5. The rain that dampened some Independence Day holiday weekend events, including some fireworks shows, was caused by an upper level low pressure system (“TUTT” low) that moved in from the Gulf.

The same Tropical Upper Tropospheric Trough dropped another .44″ on the 9th and 1.69″ on the 15th. We had one more big rain, 1.52″ on the 27th, due to our summertime high pressure dome drifting back toward California for a few days, leaving us open to Midwestern storms that moved south along the eastern periphery of the high.

What amounted to four significant rains during July gave us a monthly rainfall total of 4.34 inches, which was not only two inches above normal but nearly identical to June’s 4.33 inches.

As of July 31st, Denton has received 30.5 inches of rain so far this year.  At eight and one-half inches above normal, again, it’s hard to ask for more.

The rain was not without cost. There was minor, mostly unreported wind damage across Denton County on the Fourth of July. The city of Denton reported trees were blown down during the storm on the 9th. And during the biggest official rainfall on the 15th, Denton County suffered widespread wind damage from 60 mph winds as well as some street flooding on Cross Timbers Road in Flower Mound.

Looking ahead, the factors most likely to affect our weather during August will be our semi-stationary upper-level high pressure (“heat dome”), which is a certainty, and tropical systems coming from the Gulf, which are much less certain. As for La Nina affecting either factor, the cooling trend in the central Pacific has slowed down, making full development unlikely before fall. Still, the National Weather Service expects La Nina to occur, only later.

With no other guidance, our climate history says, “Never expect much from August:” Highs in the upper 90’s, lows no cooler than the mid 70’s and less than 2 inches of rain for the entire month.

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5 “The Wolf.” He also serves as Home field Meteorologist for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.

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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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