Thursday, March 24, 2011

Unseasonably warm weather looms for North Texas in April

The National Weather Service (NWS) - Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said last week that the April outlook indicates a probability (but not a strong signal) of above normal temperatures inside the 33 percentile line for much for the North Central and South Central Texas climate divisions stretching from the Red River south to the Rio Grande and gulf coast. However, the CPC suggests above normal temperatures inside the 40 percentile line for the far western counties of the two regions and "equal chances" of above normal, normal or below normal temperatures for East Texas.

The CPC forecast of "equal chances" for above normal, normal or below normal precipitation is painted statewide. There were no clear climate signals for precipitation variability across Texas beyond climatological probabilities.

"Statistical and dynamical ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) forecast models maintain La Niña conditions through April. Increased chances for above normal temperatures are predicted from the southwest through the southern Great Plains," said forecaster Ed O'Lenic.

NOAA spring outlook:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stated that aspects of the spring outlook for April through June include above-average temperatures in much of the southern half of the U.S. Additionally, drier-than-average conditions are expected through Texas.

"Drought has been spreading and deepening since the winter and is forecast to persist in spring. Wildfires will be an increasing threat, especially when humidity is low and when winds are high," said Susan Buchanan of NOAA.

"(Temperatures) are expected to run around 10 degrees above normal into (late March). This will increase drying of soils, but also help speed early season vegetative growth," stated meteorologist Joe Harris of the NWS in Fort Worth.

Last week's U.S. Drought Monitor report illustrates moderate drought conditions across the western half of North Texas from the counties south of Dallas to the Red River. Severe drought is indicated in the eastern half with extreme drought in the southeastern counties of the region and spreading into East Texas. Moderate-to-severe drought persists in South Central Texas.

How will the lack of rainfall affect the upcoming Texas wildflower season?

"Little rain last fall in much of Texas means bluebonnets and other early spring wildflowers will not be as impressive as last year's display," according to Barbra Rodriguez, senior botanist at The University of Texas at Austin's Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

John Krause, co-host of Living Natural First on WBAP-AM (820) told NewsWatch Dallas, "The lack of moisture will definitely decrease the amount of wildflowers we see this year. It's been about 30 days since any measurable precipitation and this in when wildflowers need it the most."

The precipitation departure from normal for 2011 at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is -3.34 inches. Since Jan. 1, 2010, rainfall is 6.37 inches below normal.


  1. We need some help from Oklahoma, and the cold front from Canada. I really want to go out take some picture of these flowers this year.

  2. 'Q', Wildflowers is a favorite of mine to! We sure need a little moisture to coax them along. Nothing like a field of Bluebonnets in the Hill Country of Texas.

    One of the challanges that I gave myself was to try and take a pic of all the different varieties that grow in the Wildlife Refuge. I have collected quiet a few but have a lot more to go, plus some of the images need to be replaced with better shots. This little challange makes an ordinary hike Fun, and helps to keep my eyes sharp.

  3. Interesting forcast information Q. Hopefully you get a chance to get some good flower pictures.

    Parker I like the idea of your challange to capture pictures of all the different wild flowers!

    As far as weather is concerned North Texas can have as much rain from out here on the West Coast as it likes... But seriously, that warmer and dryer than normal forcast hopefully won't translate into a schorching hot parched summer for that part of the world.


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