Saturday, September 18, 2021

Denton descends deeper into drought

Meteorologist Brad Barton

Despite the early freeze in late October (28 degrees on October 28th), November’s weather has been exceptionally warm and dry.  And the trend, which began in October, shows every sign of continuing indefinitely.

Our warmest temperature was a presumed record-setting 94 degrees on November 2nd; “presumed record” because official climate records from Denton Enterprise Airport go back only as far as the mid-1990’s.  Our coldest temperature, as of the 17th (pardon the early deadline) was 37, recorded on the morning of the 10th.  Our average high was 72 and our average low was 52, which worked out to a day-night monthly average of 62, which was over 5 degrees warmer than normal.

Rainfall was disappointing.  Again.  After a dry October, which was 2.55 inches below normal, November saw just one day of measurable rainfall.  Denton Enterprise recorded .68″ on the 8th.  Other than that, trace amounts were detected on the 13th, 15th and 16th.  If no other rain occurs in Denton through the last week of November, the total for the month will be .68 inches, which is a full inch below normal.  So far this year, just over 29 inches of rain has fallen.  Our current rainfall deficit is troubling:  11.83 inches.  As of November 14th, the U.S. Drought Monitor had placed most of Denton County in the category of “Moderate Drought.”

Looking ahead, you can probably guess what the outlook is.  The Climate Prediction Center forecasts most of Texas and the South warmer and drier than normal.  Much of that outlook hinges on the anticipated development of a La Nina, which is cooler than normal ocean temperatures in the central Pacific.  Although not in our neighborhood, a typical La Nina winter is quite harsh in the northeast part of country, which is actually more serious for more people than a winter drought here.  Still, if the 1-3 month winter outlook verifies, North Texas could be in serious trouble when it comes to the early spring wildfire season.  Just remember, a mild winter is one of the many reasons people love North Texas.

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5 “The Wolf.” 

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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