September demonstrated just how stubborn North Texas summers can be. Temperatures were sharply warmer than normal, although we finally felt the approach of fall during the last week of the month.
Our highs were mostly in the 90’s during September, including 98 on the 19th and 97 on the 20th. Our average daily high was 90, with our average low near 70, which worked out to a monthly day-night average of 80 degrees, three degrees warmer than normal. Our coolest reading until the very end of the month, was 61 degrees on the morning of the 10th.
September’s rainfall was slightly above normal. Denton Enterprise Airport recorded .36″ on the 1st of September, .52″ on the 10th, .62″ on the 13th and another .84″ on the 25-26th. Total rainfall for the month was 2.53, which was .11″ wetter than normal. Through September, rainfall in Denton is running about 11 inches above normal with an official 9-month total that exceeds 42 inches. Area lakes remain near capacity. No severe weather was reported in Denton County during the month. Not bad.
Looking ahead, you can forget about a “La Nina fall” or even a “La Nina winter.” The Climate Prediction Center has dropped its La Nina watch for now. Less than 3 months ago, in June, the CPC published a “75% chance” of Pacific Ocean temperatures falling below average, but water temperatures have since stabilized near their normal values and show no immediate signs of getting cooler. Accordingly, we have nothing but historic climate data to predict October’s weather.
October can be fairly volatile, as both the Polar and Subtropical jet streams begin migrating south. Our average high at the beginning of October is usually in the mid 80’s but by the end of the month, we’re topping out in the low to mid 70’s. We’ve seen 100-degree highs as late as October 3rd and freezing temperatures as early as October 22nd. October is also our second wettest month of the year with an average of nearly 5 inches of rain (over 8 inches last October).
With a significant monthly drop in temperatures and increased rainfall, October and November represent a secondary peak in severe weather for North Texas. Even if we get a “normal” October, it’s not likely to be boring.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5KPLX “The Wolf” and home-field meteorologist for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.