Denton, like much of North Texas, rolled up the sidewalks Wednesday night in anticipation of big weather that took longer than expected to arrive.
Meteorologists had forecast a tough commute Wednesday evening, but spring’s classic setup for violent storms — the kind that brings damaging winds and hail — moved more slowly than anticipated.
In their published forecast, meteorologists in the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth office said that predicting the timing of the storms was “very challenging.”
Still, city, county and school officials erred on the side of caution and canceled or postponed dozens of events, sending kids and grown-ups home in time to hide the car in the garage and cover tender plants.
Both the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University canceled evening classes and activities. Many after-school activities and evening classes were also canceled by Denton schools and the Denton Parks and Recreation Department.
In addition, both the Denton Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Ethics canceled scheduled meetings at City Hall.
The Board of Ethics announced it was rescheduling its hearing of ethics complaints against two council members, Deb Armintor and Paul Meltzer, to May 1.
Thunderstorms began to fire up in Montague, Jack and Wise Counties mid-evening Wednesday. About 7 p.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm watch for Denton County, most of North Texas and parts of southern Oklahoma that ran until at least 2 a.m. Thursday.
The updated forecast called for a chance of showers and thunderstorms to linger Thursday morning, with skies clearing by the afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be cooler, reaching the upper 60s by late afternoon and dropping into the upper 40s overnight into Friday.
Meteorologists are calling for sunny skies and mild temperatures through the weekend, with a 20 percent chance of storms returning on Monday.