Monday, December 11, 2023

August topped century mark several times

Meteorologist Brad Barton

August in Denton County was hotter than normal, but only slightly, so we’ll say it was, “not bad for August.”

The numbers tell the story. Our average high was 97 and our average low was 72, which worked out to a day/night average of 84.6 degrees, .6 degrees warmer than normal for August.

We had a week of 100+ degree temperatures from the 10th through the 16th, topping out at 105 on the 14th.  As the month came to a close, we hit 104 on the 28th and a record-breaking 106 on the 29th and were expecting the last two days of the month to reach near 100.

Denton had only one “mild” day with a high of 89 which was August 5th, but enjoyed several mild nights with overnight lows in 60’s, including the 19th (61), the 20th (62) and the 21st (63).

Rainfall was again, “not bad for August.” After no rain during the first two weeks, Denton picked up .11″ on the 16th, which broke the triple-digit heat wave.

Then, there was Hurricane Laura, the highest confirmed wind speeds to strike southwest Louisiana. While the storm did catastrophic damage to Lake Charles, it spared most of Texas, with the eye of the storm tracking north, just east of the Texas/Louisiana border. Beyond being one of the few Category 4 storms to strike the United States in recent years, Laura was a very large hurricane and cast a wide loop over the weather pattern in the mid-south.

Its counter-clockwise circulation bred storms as far north as the Ozarks and pulled them into North Texas on the 26th and 27th. The storms on the night of the 26th did significant wind damage to several homes in Robson Ranch. About the same time, three miles west of Justin, roof and tree damage occurred around the Propwash Airport. The silver lining is, Denton Enterprise Airport picked up 1.18 inches of rain out of Laura.  And people who live at Robson Ranch and Propwash Airport can claim being “victims of Hurricane Laura,” for whatever that’s worth. Another .54″ rain fell on the morning of the 30th.

Total rainfall for August was 1.83 inches, about a third of an inch above normal. Running total for the year: 35.83″.

At this writing (August 29), 14 fatalities had been attributed to Hurricane Laura. Considering four million people in Louisiana and east Texas were in the path of the storm, that’s a remarkably low casualty toll. The National Hurricane Center and scores of private meteorologists and government officials deserve credit for an extremely accurate three-day forecast, which allowed a successful evacuation and saved possibly thousands of lives.

Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center forecast is virtually silent about September temperature and precipitation trends, but September can be brutally hot. And remember, in the last 30 years, more people in the U.S. have died from extreme heat (138) than hurricanes and tornadoes combined (113).

Brad Barton
Brad Barton
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820 and 570 KLIF. His video weather podcast is posted to and Facebook around noon every Thursday. You can follow Brad on Twitter @BradBartonDFW

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