Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 28, 2013

Soaking rains needed to recover from dryness

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Henderson County needs some soaking rains to recover from a dry winter, according to information from the National Weather Service.

The county ended the season with rainfall totals of about half of the amount recorded the previous spring. From Dec. 21 to March 20, 8.19  inches fell on the county, but the bulk of that was in January, when 5.06 inches was recorded. The previous winter, the total was 16.81 inches.

“The next three months, April, May and June, the climate outlook for your area has an above-normal probability of higher than normal temperatures, and probabilities are about equal for normal precipitation,” said Jason Dunn of the National Weather Service.

Athens’ normal precipitation for April is 3.21 inches, May is 4.77 inches, and June averages 4.35 inches. Those months were unseasonably-dry a year ago with only 6.80 inches falling for the quarter.

The wet January was precipitated by a 2.78-inch downpour on the Jan. 9, the heaviest rainfall of the year to date. March has been extremely dry.  The rainfall total for the first 20 days of the month, ending with the arrival of spring, was only .65 inches. Last year, 6.65 inches had fallen by the beginning of spring. An average March rainfall in Henderson County accounts for 4.04 inches, making it the fourth wettest month of the year.

Lakes in Henderson County have fallen below their average level. For Cedar Creek Lake, the level Thursday afternoon was 318.47 feet above sea level, more than three feet below the average of 322 feet. Lake Athens had a level of 437.41 feet, compared to its norm of 440.34 feet.

Lake Palestine was closer to its average level than its neighbors to the west. It’s level of 344.33 was less than a foot below the norm of 345 feet.