Fort Worth

El Niño sending more rain to Dallas-Fort Worth

New CASA radar will help weather forecasters

Fort Worth is the first to add new technology to watch storms brewing. CASA radars have a 25-mile radius and look into the lower levels of the storm, below 32,000 feet.
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Fort Worth is the first to add new technology to watch storms brewing. CASA radars have a 25-mile radius and look into the lower levels of the storm, below 32,000 feet.

It looks like El Niño is going to keep sending storms our way.

The weather phenomenon, in which water off South America becomes warmer, is expected to intensify through the coming winter and will likely keep sending storms across Texas.

The latest round should start moving into the area sometime Sunday, but the strong stuff will arrive Monday.

By the time this next storm leaves the area, much of North Texas could pick up 1 to 2 more inches of rain, and some areas in Northeast Texas could have higher totals.

This is what you would expect to see in an El Niño fall or winter.

Tom Bradshaw, meteorologist in charge at National Weather Service Fort Worth

“This is what you would expect to see in an El Niño fall or winter — this next system coming in from the west is no exception,” said Tom Bradshaw, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth.

Forecasters aren’t ruling out the possibility of tornadoes for Monday and Tuesday, but the main threat appears to be hail and damaging winds. A storm on Nov. 5 produced an EF-0 tornado in north Fort Worth with winds measured at 80-90 mph. The tornado was on the ground for 3.9 miles and caused minor damage.

Snow in the Panhandle

This next storm system could also bring the first taste of winter to the Texas Panhandle. Temperatures may be low enough on the backside of the cold front to bring snow to the northern tip of Texas.

“This could be the first chance to see some flakes in the Panhandle but it shouldn’t be enough to cause any travel problems,” Bradshaw said.

Nov. 22 is the average first freeze for Dallas-Fort Worth.

Dallas-Fort Worth could also see a stronger cold front by next weekend that brings the first real chill to the area with possible lows in the 30s. If that colder air actually makes it into North Texas, it would be about time — the average first freeze for DFW is Nov. 22.

Texas drought is done

The last three rain events have nearly wiped drought off the map across Texas.

A month ago, 70 percent of the state was in some form of drought. Last week, that number dropped to less than 10 percent.

“The last three events have pretty well licked the flash drought we had this summer and early fall,” Bradshaw said. “Our assumption is drought probably won’t be an issue at this point through the end of winter.”

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has recorded 49.25 inches in 2015, the sixth-wettest year on record. It isn’t that far from the all-time record 53.54 inches, set in 1991.

49.25inches of rain has fallen at DFW Airport in 2015, making this the sixth-wettest year on record.

“We’ve got an excellent shot at breaking it,” Bradshaw said. “There’s really no reason we won’t threaten the record.”

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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