April started off the North Texas severe weather season with a bang, but the most productive rainfall (along with giant hailstones) passed mostly south of Denton County. The lack of rainfall can be attributed to a persistent “northwest flow aloft,” which kept temperatures cooler than normal.
Afternoon highs averaged 71.1 degrees. Denton County broke the 90 degree mark once, on April 3rd. Otherwise, highs were generally in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The coolest high recorded during the month was 59 on April 23rd. Overnight lows were also cooler than normal; 48.8, compared to the climatological norm of 51.1. The coldest overnight lows of 38 degrees were on April 16th and 17th.
Only a trace of rainfall was recorded on the 14th, 19th, 24th, 26th and 27th, while .12” was recorded on April 2nd and .71” was recorded on the 25th and 26th. Total rainfall for the month was just .91” compared to the April norm of 3.16”. Year-to-date, Denton Enterprise Airport has received 7.95 inches of rain, far short of the 10.82” we should have by now.
Severe weather last month was infrequent, thankfully. There are still two months left in the spring/summer severe weather season, when we normally receive our best rains. A mild El Niño is developing in the Pacific. Warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures in the central Pacific tend to give Texas hotter, drier summers and wetter winters.
For now, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting above-normal temperatures and near-normal rainfall for May.
I hope you were able to visit Dr. Michael Burgess’ Emergency Preparedness Summit March 22nd at Hebron High School in Carrollton. I was privileged to be part of a meteorologists’ panel with Erin Moran of CBS11 and Tom Bradshaw, Meteorologist-in-charge of the local National Weather Service.
One more weather summit, “Weathercon,” is hosted by WBAP Radio and WFAA-TV on Saturday, May 6th at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field. It’s the first Weathercon since the COVID pandemic. Storm-chase vehicles and emergency preparedness vendors will fill the main floor, while the theater upstairs will host video presentations by Bill Bunting, Director of the Storm Prediction Center as well as Mike Smith, who helped Dr. Ted Fujita confirm the weather hazard known as downbursts or microbursts, which downed Delta Air Lines Flight 191 at DFW Airport in 1985. Weathercon runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (come and go) and admission to the museum is free during the event. I’ll be glad to meet and greet my southern Denton County readers. Hope to see you there!