Fort Worth

Why Friday's heat could be a preview of a scorching summer. Unless this happens

Hey Fort Worth, it's HOT!

It looks like that good 'ole Texas hot weather has arrived, with temperatures in the mid-nineties. Stay cool any way you can, like Paula Gallegos and her sleepy grandson Josue Rios, floating in Lake Worth.
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It looks like that good 'ole Texas hot weather has arrived, with temperatures in the mid-nineties. Stay cool any way you can, like Paula Gallegos and her sleepy grandson Josue Rios, floating in Lake Worth.

It's really going to feel like summer on Friday and, unfortunately, this could be a sign of things to come.

Forecasters are predicting highs in the mid-90s Friday and a few spots could be close to 100. That would be well ahead of schedule for triple-digit heat, with the first 100-degree day typically arriving on July 1. The record for May 18 is 96 degrees and forecasters are predicting a high at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport of 95 on Friday..

"This weather pattern resembles June or even early July," said National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Stalley. "It does look like it's going to continue to for the next couple of weeks, which is not good for our rainfall chances. Unless the pattern suddenly changes, it looks like we're going to end May below normal."

Long-range outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center are showing trends of above-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation.

That translates into the type of Texas summers that you must simply endure.

There is one thing that could improve, if not reverse, that forecast — rain and lots of it.

Hot summer
National Weather Service

National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Huckaby said wet weather in June has historically led to milder summers.

"How spring precipitation goes can often influence how hot the summer will be," Huckaby said. "You can often say the wetter May and June are, the milder the summer will be."

One benchmark often appears to be 7 inches of rain or more in June.

"All of the Junes where we had 7 inches at DFW Airport, none of those ended up being warm summers," Huckaby said.

So far in May through Thursday, DFW Airport has recorded 1.38 inches of rain, which is 1.34 inches below normal. The airport only received a trace of rain from the Friday morning storms while some areas saw about a quarter of an inch of rain and other areas didn't get a drop.

But look out if it's dry next month.

"The stronger correlations are when we're dry," Huckaby said. "Half of those summers with dry June weather had more than the average number of 100-degree days."

Hopefully, it won't be anything like the summer of 2011 when DFW Airport had a record 71 days of 100-degree temperatures.

For now, drought has started to creep back into parts of North Texas while the Texas Panhandle remains in extreme or exceptional drought, according to the Texas Drought Monitor.

There will be slight chances of rain through the weekend and early next week but no widespread downpours appear to be headed this way.

There is one bit of good news. Heavy rainfall in February has left most area lakes close to full, meaning no drought restrictions this summer and plenty of water for swimmers and boaters.

Heavy rains have kept water levels up despite summer heat. After years of drought and floods the water at Lake Grapevine is just fine. (Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison)

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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