Saturday, May 25, 2024

Denton County endures one of the hottest Augusts on record

August was absolutely, incredibly, undoubtedly…well, finish it any way you like. It was dreadful. Most of us have never lived through an August like this, even those of us who survived the 1980 heat wave.

In fact, the highest temperatures recorded at Denton Enterprise Airport this past month may be the hottest ever since reliable records were kept in the 1970’s. Warning, there are lots of numbers in this piece.

This heatwave actually began in late July, so Denton’s 21 days at or above 100 degrees (July 24-August 13) tied for 6th in consecutive 100-degree days.

The next few figures explain why landscaping and vegetable gardens are burnt to a crisp. Denton County recorded 18 days on which the high temperature was at or above 105. Our hottest temperatures of the month were 111 on August 17th and 18th, 110 on the 20th and 109 on the 9th, 19th, 25th and 26th.

As of August 27, the average high temperature in August was 105.6. Denton and DFW are on pace to shatter the old “record average high” of 104.5 set back in the brutal summer of 2011.

At this writing, the Denton airport has recorded only .03” of rain this month which fell on the 9th. So far this year, Denton has recorded only 12” of rain. Normal rainfall through the end of August is nearly 23 inches.

DFW’s urban heat island reached some record warm overnight lows (86), but the less-developed Denton managed to hit lows in the 70’s most nights. Still, the day/night average temperature at Denton Enterprise worked out to about 92, which was nearly 8 degrees warmer than the climatological average of 84.5. You read that right; 8 degrees warmer than normal.

Looking ahead, the monstrous high pressure heat dome that stayed over North Texas for weeks at a time will finally begin to break up little by little during September, but don’t get impatient. September has produced 29 days of 100+ degree weather in the past.  The Climate Prediction Center forecasts continued above-normal temperatures during September. Just wait ‘till October.

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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