July weather brought Denton County the first triple-digit heat of the year, only two significant rains and a few brushes with severe weather.
By the numbers, the average high for the month was 93 with the average low of 73, which computed a monthly day-night average temperature of 83, actually 1 degree cooler than normal. That may seem unlikely since July felt so hot and dry, but only five days of the entire month managed to stay in the 80’s.
As of July 27th, the hottest temperature reported at Denton Enterprise Airport was 101 on the 27th. Denton County still enjoyed six early morning lows in the upper 60’s.
Rainfall was sparse, not unexpected for July. Denton Enterprise recorded .09″ on the 6th, .55″ on the 11th and .59″ on the 19th, with traces recorded on July 1st, 7th and the 18th. Total rainfall for the month was 1.23″ which was .35″ below normal. Year-to-date, Denton Enterprise has recorded 19.66 inches of rain, which is 1.68″ below normal (thanks to the nearly 10 inches of rain that fell during May.)
Officially, according to the Storm Prediction Center, no reports of severe weather damage were received from Denton County, but we know some strong winds reached us several times during the month, including on July 12th and also on the 27th. July 27th ended with multiple outbreaks of violent weather, but it was mainly east and west of Denton County.
Looking ahead, we can expect more stretches of dangerously stressful heat this month. Several people across North Texas have already been hospitalized for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a good reminder that heat is the most deadly weather threat, by far, in the United States. Last year, 138 people in the U.S. died from heat-related causes, more than from hurricanes and tornadoes combined (115). Flooding unrelated to hurricanes claimed 85 lives last year.
The Climate Prediction Center is also forecasting the development of a La Nina later this year, which tends to result in drier winters in the Southwest and an increase in Tropical activity in the Atlantic next year. Meanwhile this year’s Hurricane Season in the Atlantic and Caribbean is just about to hit its stride.
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP 820 and 570 KLIF.