by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer
The month of August 2003 saw near normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. For much of the month, upper air high pressure was in control of the area's weather. Though this feature brought intense heat to the Western and Central United States, the heavy rainfall of June still held down temperatures because of green vegetation. When rain returned at mid-month, the effect was continued. Compared with August 2002, the month was 0.6 deg. warmer, and 0.92 inch drier. Rainfall through August 31 was 0.91 inch greater in 2003 than in 2002.
The thirty-day outlook for August 2003 had called for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation. The week July 27-August 2 saw near normal temperatures and no precipitation. For most of the week, upper air high pressure was over the region. This resulted in warm temperatures, and rather high relative humidities. A weak cold front pushed into the area on the 30th and 31st, causing scattered showers--particularly over the northern counties. The week's average temperature was 84.5, which was 1.4 deg. warmer than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 1.0 deg. cooler. There was no rainfall during the same week in 2002. The week August 3-9 saw temperatures 1 deg. warmer than normal, and no rainfall.
The week began mild, warmed sharply at mid-week, and then cooled towards the end of the week. Thunderstorm clusters were in the area on the 3rd, 8th, and 9th, though no rain fell in Tyler. Upper air high pressure was over the area for much of the week, which resulted in the sharp warming at mid-week. The week's average temperature was 85.0 deg., which was 0.5 deg. higher than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 2.0 deg. warmer, and 0.91 inch drier.
The week August 10-16 saw temperatures 5 deg. cooler than normal, and rainfall about 200 percent of normal. An upper air low crossed from east to west between the 11th and 14th, bringing thunderstorms on the area on each of those days. Severe thunderstorms occurred on the afternoon of the 11th, with 1-inch diameter hail reported at Flint, and trees reported downed in Lindale on that afternoon. Light rain fell in Tyler on the morning of the 14th as a disturbance rotated around the westward-moving upper air low.
High pressure built in from the northeast at mid-week, which lowered temperatures. At late-week, upper air high pressure built back into the area from the north, raising temperatures. Tropical Storm Erika brought northeasterly winds on the 15th and 16th, and high cloudiness on the 16th. The week was 5.5 deg. cooler than the previous week. The average temperature was 79.5 deg., and rainfall was 1.05 inches. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 2.0 deg. cooler, and 0.97 inch wetter.
The week August 17-23 saw temperatures 2 deg. warmer than normal, and rainfall about one-third normal. For the entire week, upper air high pressure controlled the area's weather. This was responsible for the hot temperatures and scanty rainfall. On the 21st and 22nd, a weak tropical wave crossed westward through the Gulf of Mexico. This brought scattered late-day thunderstorms, with severe weather occurring in the area on the evening of the 21st. This brought the week's only rainfall to Tyler. Strong winds downed trees in parts of Smith County that evening. The week's average temperature was 84.6 deg. Precipitation totaled 0.22 inch. Compared with the previous week, the week was 5.1 deg. warmer.
Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was the average temperature was identical, and rainfall was 0.22 inch more. The week August 24-30 saw temperatures 1 deg. warmer than normal, and near normal rainfall. High pressure aloft continued in control of the weather for most of the week. At mid-week, a weakness developed in this ridge, which permitted the sea-breeze front to reach the region during the afternoons. This was when thunderstorms occurred. The week's average temperature was 83.4 deg., and rainfall was 0.64 in. The week was 1.2 deg. cooler than the previous week. Compared with the same week in 2002, the week was 3.8 deg. warmer, and 1.20 in. drier. Tropical Depression Grace came ashore on the 31st near Galveston, and brought a cool and showery day to the region.
The reporting period for temperatures and phenomenon on each day is for the twenty-four hours ending at midnight hours GMT--6 p.m. CST and 7 p.m. CDT. The reporting period for precipitation is for the twenty-four hours ending at noon GMT--6 a.m. CST and 7 a.m. CDT. All times are given using the twenty-four hour clock, and are expressed in Greenwich Mean Time.
Observations are from NWS Station 41/9207/4 in Tyler, Texas. The term "normal" refers to averages from the standard climatic period 1971-2000.
MX MN OBS PCPN REMARKS
AUGUST 2003, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: