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Climatologist predicts warmer, drier fall, winter

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The Texoma region could see a dry and warmer-than-average end of the year, State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said.

As the cooler months of fall and winter approach, experts are predicting a drier and a warmer end of the year.

Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon predicted this fall and winter will be parked by slightly above-average temperatures and less chance for significant rainfall and precipitation.

The warmer temperatures come following a wetter end to 2019, as the region experienced a mild El Niño pattern. By comparison, this year will see a moderately-strong La Niña pattern.

“This will be noticeably stronger, only in the opposite direction,” Nielsen-Gammon said.

El Niño and La Niña are used to describe a series of weather patterns that are determined by surface water temperature in the tropical pacific, which can significantly affect weather elsewhere across the globe.

Nielsen-Gammon said this did not mean that North Texas would see less cold days, but instead the average temperature would be slightly higher.

Going toward, the fall months, Nielsen-Gammon said the drier conditions have already started. Traditionally October is among the wettest months of the year, but this month has remained very dry.

“We usually get fronts down and when we get fronts we usually get rain,” said David Bonnette, a meteorologist with the Fort Worth office of the National Weather Service. “This October has been unusual because we haven’t had a lot of moisture sitting over us. We have been a relatively dry pattern, so when the fronts have come in we haven’t gotten the rain.”

Bonnette attributed this to tropical storms in the gulf of Mexico that trapped a lot of moisture near the cost and left much of the state dry by comparison.

Despite this, Nielsen-Gammon said parts of the state did receive significant rainfall that will help it leading into the dry months.

With regard to the coming fall, Bonnette said Texoma will still have to wait a few weeks. While temperatures have dropped recently, it will be some time before the fall weather sticks around.

“It doesn’t look like we are going to get that true cool down just quite yet and we should still see that rollercoaster where things will warm up and then we will get that front in to cool us off for a day or two and then warm us up again.”