Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

October 2, 2012

Weekend rain replenishes groundwater supplies

Faith Harper
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE —



A rainy weekend brought about 5.5 inches of rain to Jacksonville, replenishing groundwater supplies and effectively ending the drought.

“In the short term, East Texas is doing pretty well,” said C.S. Ross, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Shreveport. “This will erase the drought situation with ease.”

Ross said 5.1 inches fell from Saturday morning to Sunday morning and another .4 inches fell from Sunday to Monday morning.

Tyler received 2.34 inches Saturday and 1.66 inches on Sunday, bringing its annual rainfall total to 29.44 inches for the year, according to weather service records. The area is slightly below the normal of 32.6 inches.

The service reports Lufkin received 2.37 inches on Saturday and 1.33 inches on Sunday, bringing its total year rainfall 37.67 inches. Lufkin is above its normal rainfall of 34.67 inches for this time of year.

Ross said the rain was heaviest in the southern portions of East Texas, with the Nacogdoches area getting hit heaviest.

 “Areas down by Nacogdoches received about a foot,” he said, adding the Etoile community in Nacogdoches County received 13.8 inches over the weekend.  “It was a really nice rain,” said Aaron Low, Cherokee County AgriLife Extension agent. “We didn't have much runoff. It was a slow, soaking rain that is going to go down for tree and grass root systems and be real beneficial in that aspect.”

Low said his rain gauge showed 8 inches at his home in Alto.

“It's going to be very beneficial, especially as far as replenishing groundwater supplies that were still low from last year's drought,” he said. “Just in driving around today I've seen ponds that are full that I haven't seen full in at least two years.”

It is also beneficial to hay farmers, who might finish out the growing season with a third or fourth cutting from the added water, assuming temperatures do not cool off too quickly, Low said. Deer hunters growing grazing crops will also benefit.

Ross said looking ahead, temperatures will fit the season with lows in the 50s and highs running between 70s and 80s until the end of the week. There is a 20 to 30 percent chance of more rainfall coming in on Saturday and Sunday.