NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – We are almost a month into the growing season in North Texas, the last official below-freezing temperatures occurred on March 6 when Dallas Fort Worth International Airport reported a low temperature of 27-degrees (ironically, 27 days ago).
If the growing season goes to the average first freeze date of November 22 we should have 227 days left. Notice the third point: its has been 20 days since the last good rain (1” or more) at DFW. We gardeners love the rain so let me dive into this point a little more.
We had a historically wet Fall, the wettest on record at DFW in fact. From September to the last day of November DFW received at total 29.21” of rain, that is a staggering 81-percent of a typical year’s worth of rain at DFW based on the last 30-years of data. Much of this surplus water is still in the deep soil so trees should be having a banner Spring this year.
Since we got into 2019 however it has been on the dry side. A little less than 5” of rain has fallen at DFW, only 60-percent of what you would expect through April 1. The last really big rain was almost 100 days ago.
We are currently officially “dry” (areas in yellow in graphic below) with some counties in north Texas even in “Moderate Drought” (tan color). These dry conditions do not include our eastern counties but does include most of the Metroplex:
So are going to get into some wet weather this Spring? All indications are that we are. The driving force here is a global weather pattern called “El Nino”. Since mid-winter we’ve been in a weak El Nino.
Generally, El Nino winters are followed by wet springs. The forecasts seem to agree.
First, look at the rainfall forecast for the next seven days provided by the WPC. Some generous rains are expected (most of this coming weekend):
Looking into mid-April there is a chance of above normal rainfall much of the United States including Texas:
The Climate Prediction Center also predicts above normal rainfall for Texas for April and Spring:
This could be too much of a good thing however. It has been wet all winter across the Missouri and Mississippi basins in the Central Plains. With the snow pack now melting and spring rains coming in the River Forecast Center is expecting some major flooding issues along both rivers and their tributaries.
This flooding risk includes north Texas, we’ll be watching the Trinity and Brazos basins for problems.
Overall, the growing season started a little early for the Metroplex (many outlying counties got a freeze just last weekend however). It appears some generous rain is on the way. Perhaps a good season for your garden is ahead as well.