Saturday, May 25, 2024

Year ends on a toasty note

December in Denton County was one of the warmest in recent memory. As of December 27th, the average high was around 71 degrees, with an average low of 43, which computes to a day-night average of 57, a full 11 degrees warmer than historical average of 46 degrees. The warmest day was Christmas day, with a record high of 83 degrees. The coldest temperature was 21 degrees on December 12th.

Precipitation was disappointing. By this writing, Dec. 28th, Denton Enterprise had recorded only .08 inches of rain during the month. Denton was forecast to add another 2/10ths of an inch before the end of the year. Normal rainfall for the entire month of December is 2.76 inches. As we ended 2021, Denton had recorded 30.9 inches of rain, compared to 35.6″, which is normal for the year. No severe weather was reported to the Storm Prediction Center during December.

The most remarkable event of 2021 was known as “Snowpocalypse,” or more accurately, “The February Deep-Freeze.” Admittedly, there was snow; 4 inches on Valentine’s Day with trace amounts on the 15th and 16th, followed by another inch on the 17th. The ice and snow was a hassle for sure, but more severe damage to property and danger to North Texans was due to the incredible cold, which lasted for days and the resulting power outages.

Outside of a couple hours on February 13th, temperatures in Denton County remained at or below freezing from February 9th through the morning of February 19th. Total time below freezing was at least 216 hours. For the month, February’s average temperature was 41 degrees, a full 9 degrees colder than normal. Let’s all hope that doesn’t happen again anytime soon.

The Climate Prediction Center predicts January will be warmer and drier than normal, as well as the January-through-March period. And with a La Niña (cooler-than-normal Pacific Ocean temperatures) in progress, a warm, dry winter is what we would normally expect. And while anything’s possible, two bitter February cold waves in consecutive winters are highly unlikely. At this writing, the Global Forecast System Model is predicting a strong Arctic front to ring in the New Year.

I wish you all a safe and happy 2022!

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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