Hot North Texas winter

Dec 4, 2003
As we head towards January 11, the "solstice" of cold weather at DFW where the daily normal temperatures are at their coldest point, we've been seeing a lot of 80-degree weather. With that in mind, here's how temperatures have been stacking up at DFW over the past 5 weeks. Lately the afternoon highs have been running nearly 30 degrees above normal!

(Boy, if only we had some moisture... spring chase weather would be underway already.)

Hmpf.........also - try being in Oklahoma - it's not just North Texas! It's horrendous up here....

OKC, PNC and Lawton all broke their all-time record highs for today. Ugh.

Can't say any more........too scunnered wi' it all!!!

What are your thoughts on this crazy Tx 'Winter' Tim? It certainly feels like Spring. Seems we only had a few weeks of cool or cold weather altogether. Makes me wonder if that Atlantic 'conveyor' current really is going to stop like I keep hearing people proposing. Are there any historical trends like we've been having? I remember in my childhood in Tx we typically always had a fairly cool / cold winter all through Nov - Feb. Oftentimes Jan/Feb were the coldest months. If this is variability in a cycle I wonder what kind of cycle this is?

PS: Do you think the cold will return or will it just stay like this through the rest of 'winter' into Spring? If so what do you (and others) think the implications could be for severe weather in the plains?

As for the drought, I have a feeling that it won't be that long until the floods come again.
I noticed some trees and bushes out here trying to bud out already today. :shock: If this leads into an extended severe weather season, I am all for it, but we gotta get some storm juice up the pipes first.
well most have already commented on implication for spring in another thread. Overall agreement is that due to dry vegatation evaporating less mositure into the air, the EML, capping will be much more severe in the spring than normal, which means fewer storms.

As for Tims post, forecast does have us getting back closer to normal for the forseeable future. And there several small chances of rain for E. TX btwn now (Sun pm) and the next 5 days, so maybe the overall climate is starting to slowly come back to center. We'll just have to wait and see.
What is interseting in Tim's chart is the daily high temps are trending upward while the climo averages are trending downward. Not much precip falls in the dead of winter so there isn't much use fretting just yet. If rains don't start falling come late February and March then I'll start worrying about the implications. Perhaps a very bad scenario for the south would be lots of dry Arizona like t-storms that stoke up lots of fires. There isn't much snow in the southwest so those mountains will be heating up much more quickly this spring unless the latter half of meteorological winter gets rather snowy. Tough call. Dry surface means warmer temps and stronger ridge. Perhaps more storms in the northern plains this year. Less evaporation would mean less moisture for CAPE and less advection north. On the flip side, the Gulf has got to be awefully warm which would aid in moisture transport. An earlier and more robust southwest monsoon would mean stronger flow out of the gulf but the EML would provide a robust cap. Lots of speculation but it's only January and the pattern could change fast. Super warm gulf could have a significant impact on the hurricane season as well. It's going to be an interesting year for somebody!
Actually the Gulf is not "super warm." Compared to average, most of the Gulf SST anomalies are less than a degree from zero either way. Global view (look at Gulf):

Animated weekly anomalies to track the changes:

The latest SST map:

Though we haven't had the "Blue Norther" type frontal penetrations of brutally cold air as in December 1989, repeated and frequent milder shots of cool/dry continental air associated with a persistent mean eastern trough, combined with the recent winter insolation minimum, have kept SST from getting "super warm" either for the season or in absolute terms. The marine boundary layer is shallow too, as you can see by looking at the Brownsville sounding (09/00Z as of this writing)

Although the air mass over the open western Gulf is undergoing modification with sfc dew points climbing into the low-mid 60s F, even farther upstream at Merida, the dew point dropped to 43 F yesterday -- an astoundingly dry value for the Yucatan, and likely attributable to strong vertical mixing of a shallow boundary layer.