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1.4-inch rainfall welcome for lawns and pastures

Nobody is calling it anything like a drought-breaker but a 1.42-inch rainfall over the weekend is one of the most welcome weather events in the past three months.

A cool front collided with moist air sweeping in off the Gulf of Mexico to produce 9 hundredths of an inch Friday, 3 hundredths Saturday and 1.3 inches Sunday in the KRXTFM’s U.S. Weather Service rain gauge.

The combined 1.42 inches finally pushed the 2011 total over the 10-inch mark. Yearly total now stands at 11.37 inches.

That’s five times the combined total (.38-inch) that fell in June through September.

BAD, GOOD—The weekend rainfall is almost a bad news, good news situation.

The bad news is that it’s only a tantalizing “what if” situation at the moment.

This rain, by itself, probably wasn’t enough to help farmers who delayed planting winter crops, according to County Agent Jon Gersbach.

But it could signal a promising late fall rainfall surge that’s a change from last year’s weather pattern.

“Nothing like this rain fell last October,” Gene Hall of the Texas Farm Bureau said. “It was a solid year-long stretch from September, 2010 to last weekend that rain across Texas was very scarce.”

Rockdale rainfall in October, 2010, was .06 inch.

The weekend rains totaled three times the .53-inch which fell in October and November, 2010 combined.

There’s another factor. Hall said Texans shouldn’t be quick to dismiss this week’s rains as “only” a boost in spirits.

“ For a people who were becoming weary, disheartened, and perhaps a bit desperate, it was a welcome sight indeed,” he said.

COOL-OFF—The front also brought continued cooler temperatures after a record hot spring and summer.

The mercury climbed only to 74 on Sunday and Monday’s high was 80.

2011 was Rockdale’s record year for high temperatures with 94 highs of more than 100.


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2011-10-13 digital edition

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