Texoma is facing one of the worst droughts we've ever seen. Several days this month have been filled with bits of rain and while it may not add up to a lot, it is impacting Texoma in a positive way.
It was a few weeks ago when Wichita Falls was under Stage 5 exceptional drought but now we've improved to Stage 3, which is still severe but not anything near what we were in.
It was only a few months ago when Sikes Lake was dry and filled with dead fish. Add some time and much-needed rain and you'll see a dramatic improvement and it's showing at lakes across Texoma.
"The lakes over the past 7 to 8 weeks are actually maintaining the same level," said Daniel Nix, Public Works Operation Manager.
Nix monitors the lake levels, which stand combines at 54.7 percent. Currently the city is still under stage 3 drought watch, but things could improve.
"The light rain is keeping the soil wet if we can get some substantial rains following this up then that should lead to some run-off and we should see the lakes go up."
"We got rain chances this week especially," said Skywarn Six Chief Meteorologist Ken Johnson. "A very active weather pattern."
Ken Johnson says that while this rain is good, rainfall totals for the calendar year are still more than a foot below average at 14 to 15 inches.
"It's just going to take a lot to get that surplus of where it needs to be and I really don't know if that's going to happen," he said.
As we get through the remainder of winter we are in what experts call in a La Nina weather pattern. That pattern helped spawn our drought, but Ken says the rainy December we are seeing is changing things for the better.
"We're still a little below average for rainfall but I still think before all is said and done this December will be close to where we should be. ANd I think with this active weather pattern we are going to see more opportunities for this winter as compared to last winter; better chances for rainfall which is really going to help out as we head to the spring and summer."
Daniel Nix does want to remind residents that outside watering can be done only during the hours from 6:00 pm to 11:00 am. No sprinklers may be used from 11:00 am through 6:00 pm.
If you violate those rules you can face a fine. The water restrictions hotline is still in operation for citizen questions or reporting watering violations. The hotline number is 761-7477 and is answered Monday through Friday from 8 to 5 p.m. The after hours and weekend number for reporting violations is 720-5000.