“We can probably expect severe weather episodes to continue deep into June.” Since people remember forecast “misses” rather than “hits,” I couldn’t resist quoting myself from last month’s climate summary in The Cross Timbers Gazette. Unfortunately, I was right, which was no great accomplishment, because I bet on a “persistence” forecast in the absence of any other significant signals.
In the record book, June looks pretty boring. Our average high was 89; our average low 68, giving us a day-night average monthly temperature of 78.5 which was a fraction of a degree cooler than normal.
Our warmest temperatures of 96 and 97 were recorded on the 19th and 20th. Our coolest morning was on the 13th when we reached a low of 58.
Rainfall, measured at Denton Enterprise Airport, was actually an inch below normal at 2.5 inches (through June 23). Rainfall of .60″ was recorded on June 1st, half an inch fell on the 9th, 1.07″ fell on the 16th, .07″ fell on the 19th and another .21″ was recorded on June 23rd. Our running total of 2019 stands at 19.67, still well ahead of normal for this point in the year.
Severe weather was frequent. North Texas had multiple, widespread severe weather outbreaks on three consecutive Sundays. Golf ball hail was reported on I-35 at Sanger on June 1st. 60 mph winds and wind damage were reported on the 8th and 9th. Several small tornadoes touched down in Tarrant and Dallas counties on the 16th. Hail was reported near the Denton/Collin county line on the 19th and a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for southeastern Denton County on the night of the 23rd. There was one weather-related fatality in North Texas this month. A woman drowned June 10th when a strong storm capsized a sailboat on Eagle Mountain Lake.
A mild El Niño continues in the Pacific, which has likely contributed to more frequent Pacific storm systems reaching the United States this spring. While the El Niño has weakened slightly, forecasters expect it to continue into the fall and winter.
The Climate Prediction Center forecasts slightly below-normal temperatures and above-normal rainfall through the first half of July, but reverts to normal temperatures and rainfall through the last half of the month.
Mid-to upper-level winds which drive our weather patterns tend to slack off during the summer. The most noticeable clue is when Gulf heat and humidity start backing into our region from the southeast. That leads us to forecast lighter winds, more humidity and routine air-mass thunderstorms moving up I-45 toward North Texas.
While the mugginess is not exactly pleasant, the extra clouds and humidity generally keep temperatures from soaring and protect vegetation even in the absence of significant rain. This time of year, too much moisture is better than too little.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820/570 KLIF/99.5 “The Wolf” and the Texas Rangers Baseball Club.