Relief in sight after scorching September

September of 2013 was one of the warmest in recent memory.  Our average high temperature during September was nearly 93 degrees with 13 days at or above 95.

In fact, September 1 was not only our hottest day of the month at 106 degrees, but it also tied our hottest temperature for the entire year of 106 on August 7.  Our overnight lows dipped into the 50s frequently during the last half of the month, but our average overnight low came out to about 68 degrees.  Combined, our day/night average of temperatures this month worked out to just over 80 degrees, which is nearly 4 degrees above normal.  That’s why it felt summer would never end. 

Precipitation was streaky, occurring in significant amounts only three times during the month.  We received .94” of rainfall on September 2nd, trace amounts on the 6th and 11th, .03” on the 13th, then heavier rains of 1.23” spread over September 19 and 20 (remnants of Pacific tropical storm “Manuel”), followed by our last rain just days ago, 1.03” on September 28th.  In all, our official rainfall total at Denton Municipal Airport was 3.24 inches, which is better than half an inch above average. 

One of our readers mentioned these climate summaries include only official airport locations and don’t reflect the rainfall or lack of rainfall that affects the rest of Denton County; duly noted.  Time and space limitations make it impossible to print detailed data and graphic precipitation maps here, but here are some links you’ll find helpful if you want to dig deeper into the details: 

The first link below is a graphical precipitation estimate, based on satellite and radar imagery.  You can zoom in, add county lines and major roads and see how your area compares to official rainfall totals here.  Also, there are several volunteers in Denton County who report their daily weather observations to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network.  You’ll also find links to their Facebook page and other social media sites.  They’re always looking for more volunteer observers. 

With no impact from El Nino or La Nina, October should be a mild month with occasional cold fronts every 7-10 days and more frequent rains than in September.  Our average high is about 79; average low about 68 with a good chance of near normal rainfall of 4.22 inches during the month.  October can give us extreme heat and early cold, with a record high of 106 in 1951 and a record low 34 in 1925.  Also, October has been known for rare, but record rainfall from the approach and dissipation of Pacific tropical storms, cutting across the northwest corner of Mexico into Texas.  One other hazard most of us expect; the onset of our secondary severe weather season of the year in October, when jet streams, cold fronts and stronger westerly winds migrate from north to south as fall gains traction. 

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820 AM / 96.7 FM / 570 KLIF / 99.5 “The Wolf.”  Read his column on Denton County weather each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

Brad Barton
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820/570 KLIF/99.5 “The Wolf” and the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. Read his column on Denton County weather each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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