Signs point to long, hot summer

Meteorologist Brad Barton

May in Denton County was significantly warmer and drier than normal, and there’s reason to think we’d better get used to it.  At least we had a legitimate spring this year, as well as one of the coolest Aprils on record.  So much for that.  This May will probably turn out to have been one of the warmest.

Other than four relatively mild days, every other day was at or above normal.  Our coolest high was 74 on the 3rd, following a cold front.  As of the 27th, our warmest high was 96 degrees, with a string of mid to upper 90’s predicted from Memorial weekend through early June.

Our coolest low temperature was 53 on the morning of the 6th, again, following the cold front early in the month.  Overall, our day-night average temperature worked out to 76 degrees, 5 degrees warmer than normal.

Rainfall was disappointing, especially since May is usually our wettest month of the year.

Our biggest rain was 1.41″ over the 3rd and 4th of May.  Denton Enterprise Airport recorded .08″ over the 17th and 18th and another .57″ on the 20th.  Another .01″ fell from an unlikely line of midday storms that formed along an outflow boundary from a storm complex in Oklahoma.  Although significant rains fell in Collin and Dallas Counties, little more than a trace reached the airport.  Total rainfall for the month was 2.08” which was 1.81″ below normal.

Although the National Weather Service recorded no Denton County storm damage during May, the airport reported wind gusts of 39-43 mph from strong storms that caused wind damage elsewhere in North Texas May 2nd and 3rd.  Through May, total rainfall for Denton is 13.12″ which is roughly 2 inches below normal.  The National Drought Monitor map now lists Denton County and most of North Texas as “abnormally dry.”

This is a bad time of year to start falling behind on rainfall.  Generally, the drier we are in late spring, the hotter the summer months are likely to be.  It’s nothing magic.  The drier the soil is, the more efficiently and faster it heats up every day.  Heat and drought usually lead to more heat and drought.

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting near-normal precipitation for June, which, at 4.39″ is still one of our wetter months of the year (Note: My personal precipitation forecast is roughly half that of the CPC.).  Temperatures in June are expected to be warmer than normal and that’s putting it mildly.  Several forecast models seem to agree on a west Texas triple-digit heat wave expanding eastward during the first two weeks of June.

Best be prepared a long, hot summer which we haven’t seen in many years.  Let’s hope we’re all wrong.

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP820/570KLIF/99.5’The Wolf’ and Home Field Meteorologist for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.

Brad Barton
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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