Fort Worth

When’s the last time DFW went without rain in September?

September;’s sunny skies have been perfect for bike rides in North Texas.
September;’s sunny skies have been perfect for bike rides in North Texas. Star-Telegram archives

Rain is as regular in September as Labor Day.

But so far this month there has been no measurable rainfall at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.

There was a trace of rain Tuesday night when a fast-moving front blew across the area, but unless another stray shower drifts in, there’s a chance North Texas could have its first dry September since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1898.

September rain is rarely heavy, averaging 2.55 inches. The lowest amount on record was 0.06 of an inch in 2014. In September 1898, when William McKinley was president and the best team in baseball was the Boston Beaneaters, it rained 0.29 of an inch.

Because no official records exist before 1898, we don’t know if September has been rain-free before.

The last time it rained at DFW Airport, which is the official recording station for the National Weather Service, was on Aug. 27, when it rained almost half an inch.

There’s a slight chance that thunderstorms could develop to the west Wednesday afternoon, and a front could move into North Texas early next week — and possibly bring rain with it — but the forecast models are changing daily.

“Until then, it looks like summer is going to stick around,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Huckaby.

dry streak

The lack of rain hasn’t had much of an impact yet, thanks in part to the 4.24 inches of rain that fell in August,.

In last week’s drought monitor, 92 percent of Texas was drought-free and 84 percent of lakes were full across of Texas.

Locally, the Tarrant Regional Water District lakes — Eagle Mountain, Bridgeport, Richland-Chambers and Cedar Creek — that supply raw water to almost all of Tarrant County were 94 percent full.

And with Houston and southeast Texas continue to recover from the record-breaking rainfall and flooding from Hurricane Harvey, there’s still plenty of moisture around if the weather pattern changes.

The Climate Prediction Center’s 6-10-day outlook shows a good chance of above normal precipitation from Sept. 24-28 for areas west of Fort Worth. But the long-term outlooks are calling for drier than normal winter due to La Niña, which tends to bring warm, dry winters to Texas.

“The lakes are essentially full so we can handle a dry winter,” Huckaby said. “It would be mainly be short-term impacts like wildfires that we would be concerned about.”

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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