PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

May 6, 2014

Much needed rain on the way

Much needed rain will fall over southeast Texas later this week for the first time in weeks.

The precipitation will hopefully make a dent in the current rainfall deficit of 5 inches this year.

Thursday will bring a 40 percent chance of showers and by Friday there will be a 60 percent chance of rain. Rain turns to thunderstorms Friday night and into Saturday.

Kent Kuyper, meteorologist with the National Weather Service-Lake Charles, said the area is weeks behind in rainfall.

“We have had no rainfall so far in May and there was one rain day in April on the 14th but nothing in April before that. The last time we had a good rain was around the first of March,” Kuyper said. “Since we live in an area that requires rain every week or so we’re about eight or nine weeks behind.”

Highs for the rest of the week will be in the upper 70s to low 80s with lows in the low 70s and upper 60s.

The long term precipitation forecast looks good for the area.

“We are not expected to go into a moderate drought,” Jonathan Brazzell, hydrologist/meteorologist with NWS, said. “Some of areas in central Texas that are currently under moderate drought conditions are forecast to be moved out of drought by mid-summer,” Brazzell said. “It looks like things are starting to look up for a lot of Texans.”

“We will see more frequent rain event, hopefully, during the summertime,” Brazzell said in reference to late afternoon summertime storms.

But not all Texans will see relief. Drought conditions are expected to intensify for west Texas, he said.

The Texas Water Development Board’s Drought Report for this week shows almost 75 percent of the state is now in drought with more than half the state experiencing severe or worse drought conditions.

Drought conditions have eased since 2011 which was one of the worse  droughts in recent recorded history.

“It takes a while to recover,” he said. “We’re still recovering.”

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is currently two feet short of being a “full pool,” according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The reservoir provides flood control to the Angelina and Neches River basins in southeast Texas as well as supplying water to the Lower Neches Valley Authority, the Beaumont area and Lufkin city.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

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