Despite nearly two weeks near 100 each day without any measurable rain, August turned out to be an exceptionally wet month, and on average, a little cooler than normal.
Better August than February right?
By the numbers, the average daily high in August was 93 degrees, while the average low was 73, which gave us a day/night monthly average temperature of 83; about one degree cooler than normal.
Total rainfall for the month (as of Aug. 27) was more than generous; 4.25″ which was 2.88 inches above the monthly average of just 1.37 inches. That’s over three times the normal August rainfall amount in Denton making this past month the third wettest August on record, behind August, 2008 (5.25″) and August, 2001 (4.89″). Buzz-kill: Official weather records at Denton Enterprise Airport go back only as far as 1996.
Rainfall was non-existent until the 12th. Even after a cold front finally passed though and stayed through several days later, rainfall didn’t pick up until August 17-18 when .64″ fell. We had 2.18″ on the 19th, another 1.06″ on the 20th and .33″ on the 22nd. As the month came to an end, tropical and Gulf humidity were setting off isolated afternoon storms on a daily basis. The blending of high humidity with the August cold front resulted in our heaviest 24-hour rainfall total (3.23″ over the 19th and 20th) since early March.
August began as July ended, typically hot and dry. The first twelve days of August, high temperatures hovered between 98 and 104, peaking on August 12th, when a mid-summer cold front finally reached North Texas. It flexed back and forth across the area several times for several days, but finally broke the back of our August heat wave. The mid-month cool snap dropped overnight lows to 64 on the 15th and 62 on the 16th.
Looking ahead, a late-summer return of hot, dry high pressure could make the Labor Day holiday weekend a little hotter and drier than normal, followed by more mid-month rains and cooler temperatures as we near October. September could follow a track similar to August.
Meanwhile, the anticipated development of La Nina has failed to materialize yet. Even so, most government forecasters are expecting Pacific Ocean temperatures to begin falling at least slightly below normal by September or October. Without anything more to go on, there’s no reason to stray from September’s average climatology. During September, daytime highs normally start out in the mid 90’s, dropping to the mid 80’s by the end of the month. Normal September precipitation is between 2.5 and 3 inches.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5 The Wolf and home field meteorologist for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.