October’s weather was warm and dry across North Texas, and from the way things look now, we’d best get used to it. The average high was 83 and the average low was 54, giving us a day/night average of nearly 69 degrees, which was roughly three degrees warmer than normal for October.
Our warmest temperature was 90 recorded on October 2nd. Our coldest temperature of the month, 28 degrees, was reached at 4:53 on the morning of October 28th, which represents an early freeze for Denton County. On average the first killing frost in Denton occurs around mid-November.
On Friday the 27th, a strong Canadian cold front blew across the Red River into North Texas on 40 mph wind gusts. Around midday, a dark band of low, gray clouds swept in. Several people reported seeing, hearing and even feeling a mixture of light sleet and rain between 12 and 2 p.m. As noontime temperatures were still in the 40’s, the sleet melted on impact, and no more than a trace of precipitation was observed at the Airport.
For the entire month, rainfall was sparse again.
Denton received .25″ on October 3rd and 4th. Another tenth of an inch fell on the 10th; .47″ fell on the 15th, another .41″ was recorded on the 21st and 22nd and a paltry .04″ fell on Halloween.
Total recorded rainfall was only 1.27″ which was 2.51″ below normal. More troubling, through September and October combined, Denton has received less than 2 inches of rain in the past 60 days.
October is normally one of our wetter months of the year. So far this year, Denton has received just over 29 inches of rain. Normal rainfall for this point in the year should be about 31 inches. No severe weather was reported in Denton County during the month.
Although a La Nina is mildly favored in most weather forecasting models, it has yet to develop. For now, Pacific Ocean temperatures remain normal. Overall, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting November to be both warmer and drier than normal in Texas. Further, the 2017 winter outlook released by the National Weather Service is predicting warm and dry conditions through much of the southern half of the country.
Northern and Northeastern states are being told to expect much harsher conditions this winter, but the opposite is true in Texas and the Southwest. A more significant threat for our part of the state this winter could be wildfires, especially if there’s excessive winter-kill and/or dormancy grasses and other vegetation in such dry conditions.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5 “The Wolf.”