October doubled down on the trend of rainy weather established in August and September. The frequent rains also kept Denton County weather cooler than normal and appear to be affecting the fall-winter forecasts for North Texas.
By the numbers, Denton started off the month with highs in the upper 80’s but thanks to the rainy weather, the coolest high temperature recorded at Denton Enterprise Airport was only 48 degrees on the 15th, which coincided with our coolest low temperature of 40 degrees. Our day-night average temperature for the month was around 65 degrees, more than one degree cooler than normal.
Rainfall was detected at the airport on at least 15 days of the month. As the rain accumulated, flood advisories and flood warnings were in effect for days all across North Texas. Although numerous roads were closed and high-water rescues were executed, no injuries were reported in Denton County.
The main cause was a blocking high pressure zone over the Gulf of Mexico and southeast U.S., which kept a Pacific storm system stalled over Texas and the southwest for most of a week. Additional rains were triggered by early fall cold fronts and assisted by moisture from Pacific hurricane Willa.
The most significant rains were 1.15″ on the 9th, 1.18″ on the 13th, 1.14″ on the 15th, 1.25″ on the 19th, 1.74″ on the 24th and .89″ on the 31st. In all, 8.65 inches of rain fell at the airport. So far this year, Denton has recorded 36 inches of rain, nearly 4 inches above normal.
Rainfall in DFW was even more extreme, breaking the old record of 14.18″ in October of 1981. For the month, DFW picked up 15.7 inches of rain, on top of September’s record rainfall of 12.4 inches. DFW’s running rainfall total for the year is over 50 inches.
Outside of flooding, Denton County had no reports of severe weather during the month. Five small tornadoes were confirmed around Hillsboro and Waxahachie on October 13th.
Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center is monitoring a slow warming of Pacific Ocean temperatures, predicting a weak El Nino will form this winter. Often, but not always, an El Nino can result in wetter winter that is slightly warmer than normal, and that’s the general forecast for the next 1-3 months. No exceptional cold outbreaks are forecast for North Texas in the next couple weeks, but Denton County’s average date for the first killing freeze is around November 20th.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5, ‘The Wolf.’
— NWS Fort Worth (@NWSFortWorth) November 1, 2018