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Heat wave shows no signs of relenting

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Meteorologist Brad Barton

June in Denton County continued the unfortunate trend established in May of warmer-and-drier-than normal weather.  Unfortunate, because this time of year, two months of unusually warm, dry weather are more likely to produce heat and drought for the rest of the summer.

As of June 25th, Denton had recorded only two relatively mild days with highs in the 80’s.  We also saw at least two days at or above 100, including 103 on June 22nd.  Our coolest early morning low was 64 on June 4th.  In all, the average high was about 95 and the average low was about 74, which resulted in a day/night average monthly temperature of 84 degrees, nearly 5 degrees warmer than normal (just as in May).

Also similar to May, June’s precipitation was only about half our normal quota.  The biggest rain was on June 7th, and associated with a severe weather outbreak.  Prior to that, Denton Enterprise Airport recorded .59″ on the 4th, also .07″ on the 20th.  Total rainfall came to just at 2 inches at the airport, which was 1.7″ below normal.  However, parts of southern Denton County received 2” from storms on the evening of June 20.

After a relatively quiet spring, severe weather caused significant hail and wind damage in parts of Denton County during June.  Around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5th, a cluster of weakening thunderstorms from Oklahoma re-intensified explosively in the hot, humid air on our side of the Red River.  The southward-moving storms boiled up to 40,000 feet and began dropping baseball-sized hail on parts of Lewisville, Carrollton and Coppell.  The storms continued south-by-southwest, dropping golf ball to tennis ball-sized hail as far south as Arlington before the hail core collapsed.  It’s been several years since such large hail affected so many people in and near Denton County.  For the record, baseball-sized hail usually hits the ground at about 80 miles per hour, and requires a thunderstorm updraft of roughly 120 mph to stay aloft in the hail-generating zone of a thunderstorm long enough to grow to that size.  They’ll be hearing roofing guns for the rest of the summer.  That same storm outbreak produced a 67-mph wind gust at Denton Enterprise Airport.

About two weeks later, on June 20th, another cluster of severe thunderstorms raked areas of southern Denton County with 50-60 mph winds, downing 8″ diameter trees and tree limbs in Flower Mound, Highland Village and Double Oak.  No injuries from either outbreak, but lots of expensive damage.

As previously hinted, our warm, dry spring is likely to bring in a hot, dry summer.  All the long-range forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center point in that direction.  Although a new El Niño is predicted for this fall, it will have no effect on summer conditions.  Most of Denton County is listed in “Moderate Drought” with little relief in sight.  Lakes Ray Roberts and Lewisville are currently near 95% capacity, but we can expect significant draw-downs in the weeks ahead.

 

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

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About The Author

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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