May is known as the wettest month of the year in North Texas and it left Denton County windblown, wet and much cooler than normal.
The warmest temperature of the month at press time was 90 degrees on May 3rd. The coolest reading was 46 on May 5th. The average high during the month was 76, with the average low near 60, resulting in a monthly average temperature of 68 degrees, 3 degrees cooler than normal.
Excessive rainfall was more of a factor than severe thunderstorm winds and hail that raked parts of North Texas repeatedly during May.
Rainfall was recorded on at least 13 days during the month, with additional rainfall expected around Memorial Day weekend. During the first severe weather outbreak, .88″ was recorded on May 2-3. Another big rain of 1.69″ was recorded on the 10th and 11th. Over 2.5″ fell May 16-18 and nearly 2.4″ was recorded from May 22-25.
Total rainfall as of May 26 was 7.5′” with another 1-2″ expected before the end of the month. Combined with April’s rainfall of 3.18″, Denton Enterprise airport has collected roughly 11 inches of rain so far in 2021, which is still two inches below normal but enough to wipe drought conditions off the map.
North Texas suffered three severe weather outbreaks during the month. Some of the worst hail in Texas fell in Ponder, which documented softball-sized hail (4″) on May 10th.
Looking ahead, the Climate Prediction Center expects June to be slightly warmer than normal with near average rainfall.
One thing on severe weather warnings: In addition to cities listed in the path of a severe thunderstorm or tornado, the warnings mention highways likely to be affected by severe thunderstorm winds. If more drivers had been listening to the warnings on May 3rd, they would have known to stop short of the storm paths crossing I-35E south of Dallas. Eight people were injured in that storm, including one critically-injured truck driver who had to be cut out his cab. Whenever driving through heavy weather, especially at night, turn off the digital music and find live, local radio where storm warnings and severe weather reports are carried.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP 820 and 570 KLIF.