March is usually our least predictable weather in North Texas, and, with nearly 30 days without any measurable rainfall, it didn’t disappoint.
Despite record rains during February, everything seemed to dry up during March, which turned out to be significantly drier and warmer than normal, giving spring an early start.
Our warmest temperature was 86 on the 24th. Our coolest was 31 degrees on the morning of the 14th. Our average high of 72 and our average low of 47 gave us a monthly day/night average temperature of 59, which was 4 degrees warmer than normal.
Rainfall was nearly non-existent between February 28th and March 26th. Denton had trace amounts on the 1st and 4th day of the month, followed by .03″ on the 17th. Significant rains held off until the 27th and 28th, when Denton Enterprise Airport recorded 1.69″. Total rainfall for the month was 1.72″ which was 1.6″ below normal for March. Rainfall for the year so far is 9.27 inches, which is still 1.8″ above normal.
Severe weather came close on March 26th, thanks to a slow-moving Pacific storm system that plowed through the Desert Southwest. Multiple lines of heavy storms with large hail and damaging winds formed in West Texas and the Big Country, racing northeast into the area. Hail the size of tennis balls hit some areas in the Big Country, but the storms generally weakened as they approached Denton County. Severe thunderstorm winds in the northern Tarrant County community of Haslet knocked out electricity to about 4,000 homes and flung a trampoline over some power lines.
Looking ahead, the absence of a La Nina suggests no trend. Quite possibly based on March’s weather, (“persistence forecast”) the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting drier and warmer than normal conditions during April. For that reason, let’s take nothing for granted. April is one of our big severe weather months and now is the time to be prepared. When the weather turns threatening, make sure have a reliable warning-alert app on your smart phone and a weather-alert radio, too. I suggest you listen to live local radio to make sure you hear weather warnings when they are activated. WBAP 820 AM is the primary Emergency Alert System broadcast source for ALL warnings throughout North Texas.
WBAP and WFAA-TV are hosting the third annual “WeatherCon” at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field, Saturday, April 28th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event will have tons of exhibits, information, family-friendly events including free admission to the Museum. WFAA will have their “green screen” set up so you can see what it’s like to do your own live TV weather broadcast. Our keynote speaker is Bill Bunting, Chief of Forecast Operations at the Storm Prediction Center in Normal, Oklahoma. For more information on WeatherCon 2018, please go to WBAP.com.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5 “The Wolf” and Home Field Meteorologist for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.