We've been counting down the Top 8 North Texas Weather Events of 2013. How many of these do you remember?
#8 Cool Mid-July Weather
In the midst of our typical summer heat in July, North Texas was treated to a reprieve. It was 101 degrees in DFW on July 13. Two days later the high was 74 degrees; the coolest high ever recorded for the date! Dew points also dropped making for extremely comfortable weather. People were seen outside across the region enjoying the unusual break from the heat and humidity.
#7 Summer Heat
Despite that break in July, most of the summer was hotter than normal. The period from June to September was about a degree-and-a-half above normal which, from a climate standpoint, is significant. D/FW airport recorded a total of 30 days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees. The normal is 18 days.
#6 Severe Weather in February
Early in the morning on February 10, severe thunderstorms brought damaging wind and hail the size of golf balls to North Texas. Nolan High School in Ft. Worth recorded a wind gust of 66 mph. The peak wind at D/FW airport was 49 mph.
#5 Morning Hail in March
At daybreak on March 23, a large hailstorm moved across the southern portions of North Texas. Hail first covered the ground in southern Tarrant County and then turned the ground white in southern Dallas County. Crowley reported hail as large as ping-pong balls.
#4 November Arctic Outbreak
On Nov. 22, an arctic front plunged into North Texas bringing light sleet and freezing rain. But the bigger issue was the very cold weather. The temperature at D/FW Airport stayed below 40 degrees for nearly 60 consecutive hours. This was the longest stretch of sub-40 degree weather in November in 37 years.
#3 December Ice Storm
It started with rain and then freezing rain early in the morning on Thursday, Dec. 5. Eventually, the precipitation became mostly sleet. There was enough sleet to produce one-to-four inches of ice across most of North Texas. Thousands of flights were cancelled, some highways were closed, and most schools and businesses closed. But the biggest impact was from ice causing tree limbs to fall on power lines. Oncor estimates at least 500,000 customers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area lost power at some point during the storm.
#2 Persistent Drought
During the first nine months of 2013, as much as 87 percent of Texas was in at least moderate drought. Then, significant rain in October allowed the drought situation to improve but more than 70 percent of Texas remains abnormally dry at the end of December. Water restrictions continued through the year in many north Texas communities and low water levels continue to be found in every north Texas lake.
#1 May 15 Tornado Outbreak
Eighteen tornadoes struck North Texas that day; the most to hit our area in seven years. The strongest tornado impacted the city of Granbury in hood county with 180 mph winds. The EF-4 tornado was a half-mile wide and stayed on the ground for nearly three miles. Six people were killed, making it the deadliest tornado in North Texas since 1957.