Saturday, July 13, 2024

March weather roared in like a lion

By the numbers, March 2023 seemed normal, but it was an early start to the severe weather season in North Texas.

First, the numbers. The average high temperature in March was 68.5, about 2 degrees warmer than normal. Average low was 57, which was about 2 degrees warmer than normal.

March rainfall, (as of 3/25), was 2.64”, which was slightly above the average of 2.45”.  Year-to-date, Denton Enterprise Airport has received just over 7 inches of rain, which is less than half an inch wetter than average for this point in the year.

Severe weather occurred early. On March 2nd, severe storms raked across North Texas. Tornadoes developed east of Denton, but hail and high winds followed. One-inch hail was confirmed in Sanger and Krum, while a 69-mph gust was recorded at Denton Enterprise Airport.

A second round of severe weather blew through North Texas on March 16th. Brief tornadoes were confirmed in Euless and Irving, while hail was reported throughout North Texas and high winds caused damage across the region, although Denton County was spared.

A third outbreak produced at least two tornadoes near the Parker/Wise County line early March 24th and strong storms blew through Denton County that morning. Sadly, many commuters in North Texas chose to block overpasses to avoid the hail and torrential rains. Meanwhile, the unfortunate drivers behind them had to ride out the severe weather in their vehicles stuck on the freeway. This must stop.

For decades, those of us in the weather and communications fields have frequently mentioned the dangers of parking under overpasses to avoid hail. First, underpasses can flood quickly in torrential rainstorms. Second, underpasses can concentrate and accelerate thunderstorm winds which can overturn cars and maim or kill people. If and when bad weather makes you want to stop driving, please exit the freeway and stop in a safe parking area to wait out the storm. Your odds of surviving are much higher.

The Climate Prediction Center forecasts warmer and wetter than normal weather during April and May, which could mean more severe storms.

Congressman Michael Burgess is hosting a 2023 Emergency Preparedness Summit and Fair at Hebron High School’s 9th Grade Campus in Carrollton, Saturday, April 22nd, from 8 a.m. until noon. Details here. I plan to be there to answer some of your questions.

Further, WBAP 820 AM and WFAA-TV are hosting Weathercon 2023 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum on Saturday, May 6th starting at 10 a.m. It’s a family-friendly event. NWS, SPC and private storm spotters will be there. Admission to the museum during Weathercon is free.

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820 and 570 KLIF. You can follow Brad on Twitter @BradBartonDFW

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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