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February 13, 2013

Tuesday's rain will not end the drought

DUNCAN —  

“It is a good beginning but it is a long way from where we need to go,” OSU Extension Office Director Max Gallaway said. 
Much-needed precipitation fell from gloomy skies throughout the day Tuesday. Thirty to fifty percent chances of additional precipation remained in the forecast until 10 p.m. Tuesday.
 The puddles that covered the Stephens County landscape were a result of approximately 0.60 inches that had accumulated as of 3 p.m. Tuesday. Tuesday’s rainfall brings February’s total rainfall to 0.68 inches, which is slightly higher than the 0.66 inches of total rainfall at this time in February 2012. 
Despite the small increase in February rainfall, the yearly total remains lower than the year-to-date amount on Feb. 12, 2012. Currently, Duncan has received 1.69 inches throughout the year compared to the 2.63 inches that had accumulated by this time in February 2012. 
“It is a nice start,” Gallaway said. “We probably need at least 15 inches to get back to what we call normal. To get caught up, we really need 30 inches.”
His estimates indicate the amount of rain he believes the county needs over the period of the next few months. However, he still expects this rain to help the wheat crop that is being grown right now. 
“Our main winter crop, wheat, is a very tough resilient plant,” Gallaway said. “With this little bit of moisture and once we start seeing some warmer weather again, I think we will start seeing some improvement.”
Public Works Director Scott Vaughn said he would be happy with 2-3 additional inches over the next month if it was combined with average rainfall the rest of the year.
“It was a nice rain,” Vaughn said. “It was not nearly enough but it was nice. It was a good warm-up for what we need.”
Rainfall is espcially important to the Duncan community because the lakes continue to need additional water in them.
“They are all well below normal,” Vaughn said. “Humphries is about 60 percent of municipal capacity. Fuqua is about 70 percent.” 
According to the National Weather Service, Friday’s forecast includes a 20 percent chance of precipitation and a 10 percent chance of precipitation on Saturday. Next week, there is a 20 percent chance of precipitation on Monday and a 60 percent chance of precipitation on Thursday. 

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