March of 2020 will remembered as the “Month without a Month” due to the COVID-19 virus. It is uncertain whether normal spring events will resume in time to prevent disruptions to long-planned events, including weddings and graduations. Even weather-sensitive outdoor events are banned until further notice.
But nothing stops weather…nor the heavy rains we had. If you remember last month’s column, I mentioned the Climate Prediction Center’s data was lacking certainty due to the oscillation of weather patterns in the tropical Pacific. Sure enough, it was way off the mark. North and East Texas were supposed to be cooler than normal. We were much warmer and wetter than normal.
The warmest temperatures at Denton Enterprise Airport were 89 and 88 recorded on March 25th and 26th. Our coolest reading was 33, recorded on the 6th. Our day-night average temperature of 62.2 was 7 degrees warmer than normal.
Rainfall was overly-generous. Flood warnings for various creeks and streams were still in effect days after the heaviest rains fell. Our first big rain was on March 4th with 1.07”. We picked up .02″ on the 9th. Then we entered a rainy period that lasted from the 12th to the 23rd when it rained at least a trace every day. During those twelve days, Denton Enterprise Airport recorded 8.55″ of rain. We picked up another .06″ on the 28th and were expecting another half-inch or more on Monday, the 30th.
At this writing, Denton has received 9.7″ inches of rain so far in March with a little more on the way, which could put Denton over the 10-inch mark for March. We were already sitting at 6.47″ above normal for March. Our running total for the first three months of the year is about 15 inches, which is 6.5” above normal for this time of year. Better to have too much than too little.
For what it’s worth, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting relatively normal weather for North Texas in April …likely continuing the trend of an early warm-up. April and May are two of our busiest months for severe weather.
Unfortunately, WBAP and WFAA’s WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum has been postponed until circumstances permit large crowds. If you have plans to attend Representative Michael Burgess’ Emergency Weather Preparedness event at the end of April, please check ahead.
And remember, severe weather is a greater threat to more people than seasonal pandemics. Let’s all be careful and I look forward to seeing personally again.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820/570 KLIF/and The Texas Rangers Baseball Club.