Recent Rain Won't Make Much Difference In Drought Conditions

The rainfall we've been getting in the last 2 days is what many Texomans have been wishing for months to help alleviate our current drought situation.

Unfortunately Skywarn 6 Chief Meteorologist Ken Johnson says, the rain is like a drop in a bucket when it comes to increasing our lake levels.

"Not enough to put a dent in our drought. Not enough to put a dent in our lake levels. It would take something that sat on top of us and rained literally for days and we need a lot of rain to get these lake levels back up," said Johnson.

As of December 31st the combined lake levels of Kickapoo and Arrowhead were at 40.8%. If they hit 40% we would go into a stage 3 drought restriction. Wichita Falls City Operations Manager Daniel Nix says we need 3 to 4 inches or rain above average in January and February. That would keep us from hitting stage 3 but things aren't looking good for us.

Johnson says, "That's not going to happen. January is one of our driest months on record. February is not as dry as January but is dry too. We really don't see our rain levels pick up until the spring time months and the early summer months."

Even though only some spots in Texoma will see close to an inch of rain, Wichita Falls Mayor Glenn Barham says it actually buys us some time.

"Hopefully the moisture that we're getting today, the rainfall that we're getting will get a significant amount in the watershed and if we get that on the water shed then that should push us back a couple of weeks into actually going to stage," said Barham.

Meanwhile Johnson says, "I don't see anything that's going to keep us from getting there. I just think sometime, probably a good time frame is 4 weeks maybe a little bit longer but for sure by early spring though unless we get some big rain systems in here."

That's why city leaders are asking Texomans to learn what they should do before the city goes to stage 3 and keep in mind that it comes with big changes.

"The big thing in stage 3 is that it would really bump up the surcharges on the excess use of water and they get to be significant surcharges," said Barham.

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6