Some Denton residents may turn the furnace back on today, but the flowering quince, snowdrops and daffodils signal winter is winding down.
Meteorologists say more seasonal weather is in store over the next week, with lows in the upper-30s and highs in the upper-50s and lower-60s. After a brief warm-up to the 80s on Saturday, cooler, wetter weather will bring needed rain Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Matt Bishop, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth, said some areas of North Texas could see up to 2 inches of rain with the next system.
Denton County and other areas to the west likely will record less precipitation, from a half-inch to 1 inch.
“Those numbers could change. As we get closer [to the system arriving Sunday], we can predict more accurately,” Bishop said.
Although meteorologists aren’t expecting heavy rain, the system could trigger some thunderstorms on Sunday, he said.
The string of warm temperatures the past few weeks isn’t unusual for a North Texas winter, Bishop said. However, they are a result of a higher-than-average number of high-pressure systems in the atmosphere.
In addition, the warmer temperatures likely are to continue for the next three months, according to scientists in the Climate Prediction Center. Climatologists found a higher chance for warmer-than-normal temperatures from February through April.
The warm temperatures may be tempting for homeowners and gardeners eager to start some spring prunings and plantings. But people probably shouldn’t work ahead, said Janet Laminack, horticultural agent at Texas AgriLife Extension.
Evergreens that suffered freeze damage, such as boxwood and nadina, shouldn’t be pruned for another month or so, she said, adding that any new growth would be susceptible to freezes and weaken the plants.
However, mid-February is a good time to plant cold-tolerant vegetables in the garden, including potatoes, onions, broccoli, spinach and other greens, Laminack said.
“Just don’t go full tilt,” she said.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.