Thursday, December 1, 2022

Summer struck back in September

Back in August, when record rains drenched North Texas, some of us were hoping for an early end to the cruel summer of ’22, but “no rest for the weary.”

The first couple days of September brought us a little rain and a brief break in the heat but that was “all she wrote.”  (Max allows me two cliches’ per 500 words, so I’ve already hit my limit.)

September was exceptionally hot and dry until the last few days of the month. The average high during the month was 92, three degrees hotter than normal. During the last nine days leading up to the cold front on the 25th Denton had 9 days in a row with highs at or above 95, including 99 degrees on the 22nd and 25th. The average low of 66 was just half a degree warmer than the normal average low of 65.5. The coolest overnight lows, (prior to the cold front on the 25th), were 58 degrees on the 10th, 56 on the 12th and 59 on the 15th.

Why was the average low nearly on target while the average high was over 3 degrees hotter? Dry air.

That brings us to September’s pitifully low rainfall of just 2/10ths of an inch as of the 25th. Even when the cold front struggled south, a couple heavy storms developed just barely south of Denton. What luck. So far this year, Denton Enterprise Airport has recorded only 15.36 inches of rain.

No severe weather was reported in Denton County during September, but 1” hail was reported in Haslet in northern Tarrant County on September 4th, and most of North Texas had gusty winds from storms on the 4th and 5th of the month.

The hot, dry weather was due to another strong surface high that settled over Texas and much of the South for most of September. The brief break in late August was all too brief.

The summertime high pressure bubbles even helped to suppress tropical weather development in the Gulf of Mexico for the first three months of the Hurricane season. Despite its late start, we may see a big finish. All the stored up solar energy in the Gulf of Mexico has pushed water temperatures well into the 80’s. Any storm that develops or tracks into the Gulf will have lots of warm water to work with.

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting October to be warmer and drier than normal as excessive drought and heat tend to perpetuate each other. As they say, “If you don’t like the weather here, just wait five months and it’ll change.” Sooner, we hope.

Brad Barton
Brad Bartonhttps://www.wbap.com/weather-updates/
Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820 and 570 KLIF. His weekly podcast is posted on WBAP.com and its Facebook page around noon every Thursday. Read Brad's column on Denton County weather each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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