Friday, April 19, 2024

April weather was A+

Meteorologist Brad Barton

We hope you’re staying healthy as we emerge from an unprecedented six-week quarantine.  At least our mild April weather was one less thing to worry about…except for one particular night.

Our warmest temperature, 93, was April 8th.  (The “Harold Taft Rule,” established by Channel 5’s legendary weatherman Harold Taft, states that it’s not officially “hot” in North Texas until it reaches 95.)  Our coolest temperature was a frosty 33 degrees on the 15th.  Our average high for the month was 75; our average low was 50, which gave us a mild day/night monthly average temperature of 62.5, about 1 degree cooler than normal.

For the first time this year, monthly rainfall fell below normal.  We had .27″ on the 4th, 1.96″ over the 11th and 12th, trace amounts on the 18th, 19th and 22nd, then .13″ on the big storm night of April 28th when we got a lot more wind than rain.

Total rainfall was 2.42 inches, which was .79″ below normal.  Our running rainfall total for the first four months of 2020 is about 17.4 inches, which is 5.71″ ahead of normal for this point in the year.  There’s water in parts of the Trinity River flood plains but entering the first warm months of the year with extra water reserves in the bank is a good thing.

Severe weather stayed generally north of Denton County most of the month, although it was often in sight just across the Red River.  As our upper level winds evolved into a “northwest flow” pattern, we saw numerous storm outbreaks, including tornadoes, reaching the Texas-Oklahoma border, frequently near Texoma.

The northwest flow finally reached North Texas on the night of April 28th.  The worst of the hail fell west of Denton, but Denton County experienced some of the highest winds, actually a mini “Derecho,” (sustained winds of 60+ mph over at least six hours).  On that night, an intense thunderstorm cell west of Sanger began producing consistent 60-70 mph winds.  Doppler radar picked up a huge bow-shaped echo that crossed Sanger, tracked southeast toward Providence, Aubrey, just outside northeast Loop 288.  The windstorm roared southeast, parallel to I-35E across Lewisville Lake and Little Elm, inflicting its worst and most widespread tree, fence and roof damage in Frisco.  Although Denton Enterprise Airport, west of I-35, recorded a 52 mph gust, a storm spotter north of Richardson clocked a wind gust of 78 mph.  The storm finally began to weaken between Plano and Garland.

Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting slightly warmer-than-normal temperatures and near-normal rainfall for May.  May normals: High 83, Low 64, and rainfall of 4.8″.  May is also well-known for some legendary severe weather events in our end of Tornado Alley, so please stay ready for anything.

Brad Barton
Brad Barton
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820/93.3 FM and 570 KLIF, which originate Emergency Alert System weather warnings for North Texas.

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