Barton: Warm, wet start of the year

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Meteorologist Brad Barton

January in Denton County was a lot more active than we’re accustomed to. It was warmer than normal, wetter than normal and produced a significant outbreak of severe weather. Outside of the storms, most of us had several days of delightful outdoor conditions.

Our warmest high temperature was 77 on the 15th. Our coldest temperature was 26 on the morning of the 19th. Our day-night average monthly temperature turned out to be 48 degrees, which was nearly 5 degrees warmer than normal. The mild temperatures also contributed to several foggy mornings, especially the 27th when visibilities dropped to near zero at DFW, Love, Alliance and most other airports. Over a hundred flights were cancelled or delayed that morning alone.

Rainfall was generous. Denton Enterprise Airport recorded 1.56″ on the 10th and 11th; .99″ on the 16th and 17th and .44″ on the 21st and 22nd. Total so far was 3 inches, over an inch above normal. At this writing on the 27th, the forecast called for another half-inch of rain before the end of January.

An outbreak of severe thunderstorms on January 10th spun out at least five tornadoes across north and northeast Texas.

One such tornado dipped out of the clouds for about a minute, destroying a barn west of Boyd in Wise County. It was rated EF-0 with estimated winds of 80 mph.

At about the same time, a separate storm spun out an EF-0 tornado which was on the ground for about two minutes, covering roughly a mile from the Hackberry Creek area of north Irving, moving northeast to MacArthur and I-635, where it overturned an 18-wheeler before dissipating near Valley Ranch. No serious injuries.

The following morning we saw our first measureable snowfall since at least January 2017. Up to 3 inches of the white stuff fell in parts of Denton County on Jan. 11.

Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center places Texas between unusually warm and dry weather in the west and unusually cold and wet weather in the north and east. Here in Denton County, we can expect something close to climatological norms for February, which are similar to January: Average highs near 60, average lows near 38, roughly a third of the mornings in February below freezing. If we’re going to get any more wintry weather this year, it will probably be in February.

It’s not too early to make plans to visit WeatherCon 2020, hosted by WBAP and WFAA, Saturday April 4th at the Frontiers of Flight Museum next to Love Field. You’ll get face time with NWS meteorologists, storm spotters, as well as the weather crew from WFAA and WBAP. Our keynote speaker is Bill Bunting, Director of the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Admission to the museum is free throughout the event.

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

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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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