The Duncan Banner

April 4, 2013

More rain needed to make impact on lakes

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — In less than three days, Duncan received more than an inch of rain, making up nearly 1/5 of the rainfall since Jan. 1.

Wednesday morning, the Duncan weather observation site at The Duncan Banner recorded 0.91 inches of rainfall for the previous 24 hours. The marked the largest amount of rainfall in a 24-hour period since September 2012, when The Banner recorded rainfall of 0.92 inches. (If Wednesday’s rain total reaches higher than 0.92, then the next largest rainfall would be 1.64 in August 2012.) This rainfall period will end at 8 a.m. Thursday.

For the 24-hour period beginning Tuesday morning, Duncan received more rainfall than the city did for both January and March. March’s rain total was 0.52 inches, and January’s total rainfall was 1.02 inches. February is still the month with the largest amount of precipitation, sitting at 2.4 inches for the entire month.

It has been about two years since Duncan entered and has remained in drought conditions. Even with multiple days of rainfall, incluing 0.14 inches measured Tuesday morning, remains nearly 3 1/2 inches shy of the rain total at the same time last year.

The lack of rainfall has had a significant impact on Duncan’s way of life, including concerns about lake levels and the water supply coming from Waurika. The lake levels at the four city lakes (Duncan, Humphreys, Fuqua and Clear Creek) have continued to decline.

Scott Vaughn, Duncan Public Works director, said the rainfall this week is helping the lakes, but it will take a lot more rain to make any significant impact on the lakes.

“(It’s helped) minimally,” Vaughn said. ‘It’s certainly positive. The ground was already moist so we’ve gotten some runoff.”

The four Duncan lakes could serve as backup water supplies for the City of Duncan if Waurika Lake was to become unusable for the city. This is one reason Vaughn was glad to see multiple days of rainfall.

“We’re thankful for any positive we get,” Vaughn said. “I hope we have more of it.”