by Robert K. Peters, Ph.D. - National Weather Service Cooperating Observer
The month of August 2000 was much warmer and much drier than normal. This is the third consecutive year for very months in August. In fact, August 2000's temperature averaged the same as August 1999, though last month was 0.23 inch wetter. The culprit behind the high temperatures and lack of rain was upper atmospheric high pressure, which established itself over the area in early-July.
The wet Spring had held temperatures down into mid-July. With soils and vegetation drying through July and into August, the mercury rose--topping 100 degrees on eight occasions. Year-to-date rainfall though August 31 is 0.18 inch greater this year than last. Rainfall over the twelve months ending August 31 is 92.6 percent of normal.
The thirty-day outlook for August 2000 had called for near normal temperatures and near normal precipitation.
The week July 30-August 5 saw temperatures about two degrees below normal, and rainfall about one-half normal. A cool air mass built into the area on the 30th, and held down nighttime temperatures through the 1st. Daytime readings were at near normal readings for the latter half of the week. Rain fell on the night of the 29th-30th as the cold front moved into the region. After the 31st, upper air high pressure built back over the area from Western North America. The warming was reflected in the above normal temperatures later in the month.
The week August 6-12 saw readings three degrees above normal, and no rainfall. Though a weak cold front moved through the area on the 12th, and another approached on the 18th, there was no rainfall during the week August 13-19.
Tropical Storm Beryl, in the Western Gulf of Mexico, did bring a few showers to the southern counties on the afternoon of the 15th, the northern two-thirds of the region remained dry. Temperatures during the week of the 13th were four degrees warmer than normal. The combination of a drier air mass and lengthening darkness permitted nighttime minima to run 2.5 degrees lower than the previous week, while daytime maxima were 0.8 deg. warmer.
The week August 20-26 saw temperatures four degrees above normal, and rainfall about one-half normal. The Easterlies became active. Disturbances crossed between the 21st and 23rd, allowing for afternoon and early-evening showers and thunderstorms across the area.
The activity was scattered, and many locations did not receive rain.
Late in the week, upper air high pressure re-asserted itself, causing a warming trend in temperatures.
The month ended very hot, with temperatures running about nine degrees above normal during the week beginning the 27th.
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 2000, RECORDS AND SUMMARY: