After a drier-than-normal February, we resumed our wetter-than-normal weather pattern during March. We also managed to miss the ‘worst of the first’ severe outbreaks that plagued the Plains, Ozarks and the Mid-south.
With a wide swing of average and record temperatures, winter weather and storms, March weather is known for its volatility in North Texas. We avoided the record low of 25 and extreme high of 100.
Officially, Denton did not freeze during March. It appears our last killing freeze of winter 2012 was on February 25th when we dipped to 31 degrees. Our coldest temperature in March was 32 degrees on the morning of March 4th. Our warmest high temperatures of 82 degrees were reached at the beginning and end of the month.
Rainfall was plentiful and welcome at just over 5 inches for the month, coming in two stretches of rainy weather. We had a trace of rain on the 7th, .22” on the 8th, .02” on the 9th, .94” on the 10th and .22” on the 11th of March. Just over a week later, we had 1.9” on the 19th, 1.6” on the 20th, .01” on the 21st and .06” on the 22nd.
Since October, Denton County’s 17” of rain has gone a long way toward refilling last year’s depleted reservoirs in North Texas.
An extremely large, powerful and slow storm system crossed Texas from March 19th through the 21st with numerous tornadoes, reports of wind damage and large hail, some of which fell at Boonesville in southwestern Wise County. Denton County suffered with smaller hail and gusty winds in excess of 60 mph, but it could have been much worse. It was in the Ozarks and Tennessee Valley where dozens were killed or injured in violent tornadic storms.
April’s outlook is still influenced by our persistent La Nina phenomenon of cooler-than-normal surface waters in the Pacific. Currently, government forecasters anticipate the weak La Nina to assume a neutral status this spring, further weakening its influence on weather patterns in the Continental U.S.
Our current jet stream patterns are steering most storm systems across the northern third of the U.S. and across South Texas and northern Mexico, missing our area. The resulting outlook for April indicates warmer-than-normal temperatures for North Texas with near-normal rainfall totals near 3 inches. Considering the warmth and rainfall, we can expect a normal level of severe or threatening weather during April and above-normal pollen-counts, afflicting allergy-sufferers.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820 AM/96.7 FM and Founder of WeatherInTouch.net.