Saturday, May 25, 2024

Warm, dry pattern dominated September

September weather in Denton County and most of North Texas was warmer than normal and exceptionally dry.

The month started off with a high of 99 on the 1st, followed by 97, 96 and 98 degrees. Denton had highs at or above 90 for the first 12 days of the month, including the one day in early September which had a significant rain.

After just two days in the upper 80’s, the 90’s came back on the 15th, then 91, 92, 95, 94 and on September 20th, Denton Enterprise Airport recorded a high of 101 degrees, tying the record for the date. Denton’s average high temperature for September, as of press time, topped out at 92 degrees.

Overnight lows, meanwhile, dropped off nicely from the upper 70’s during the first week, into the 60’s and even 50’s for most of the rest of the month. The coolest temperatures of the month were 49 on the 22nd and 46 degrees on the morning of September 23rd, resulting in a monthly average low temperature of 63 degrees.

The hotter highs and cooler lows resulted in a day/night average temperature of 77.6 degrees for September, which was .06 degrees above normal.

Just looking at the monthly average temperature, it would appear Denton had fairly mild month. That’s why “average temperature,” whether locally, regionally or globally is an inadequate measure of real, sensible weather.

The wide 55-degree spread of temperatures was due to lack of local rainfall and a succession of dry air-masses from the Great Plains and Desert Southwest, so the ‘silver lining’ behind the lack of clouds and rain was the temporary comfort of lower humidities, especially in the evenings and mornings.

Outside of trace amounts detected on the 5th and 21st, Denton Enterprise recorded only .42″ of rain on September 8th, leaving the month 1.82″ below normal as of press time. Year-to-date, Denton has recorded 25.05 inches of rainfall, which is .58″ below normal for this point of the year. At press time, two upper-level lows from the west were expected to draw Gulf moisture back into the region for a potential inch or more of rain during the last few days of September.

As for the extended outlook, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting slightly-above-normal temperatures and slightly-below-normal rainfall for October and a continued trend of weather that is warmer and drier than normal through October, November and December. With a developing La Nina of cooler-than-normal ocean temperatures in the Central Pacific, the odds favor a warmer and drier fall and winter for Texas and much of the south. If that occurs, we can expect more winter die-out of vegetation, which could lead to more severe grassfires and wildfires this winter and spring.

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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