By Janet Bresenham
Clovis is experiencing its wettest June in 40 years.
Early Sunday evening, the National Weather Service in Albuquerque had recorded 5.97 inches of rain for Clovis in June.
“We’re well above normal, for sure, with those figures,” NWS forecaster and meteorologist Mark Fettig said. “The normal amount of precipitation for Clovis in June is 2.59 inches, by way of comparison.”
According to the Western Regional Climate Center, the last time Clovis had close to this amount of rain in June came in 1963, when moisture totaled 6.16 inches for the month.
The record for the month — 12.31 inches in 1923 — is not likely in reach, though rain clouds were overhead late Sunday and rain is in the forecast for the month’s final day today.
A large proportion of the precipitation for this June came overnight Wednesday, with 2.32 inches recorded by Thursday morning in one 24-hour period, Fettig said.
Fettig said the amount of rainfall in Clovis this month has not been too unusual.
Several recent years have seen more than 5 inches of rain in June.
In 1967, the rainfall was 5.63 inches and in 1984, there was 5.56 inches. June of 1992 brought 5.42 inches of rain to Clovis, with 5.27 inches in 1986 and 5.08 inches in 1989.
For neighboring Portales, the month of June also has brought more than the usual share of rainfall, but not quite in such high numbers.
The National Weather Service has reported 3.18 inches of precipitation in Portales this month, slightly higher than the month’s average, which is 2.35 inches, Fettig said.
However, in both cities, the June rainfall accounts for nearly all of the precipitation for the year so far.
Roosevelt County extension agent Floyd McAlister, who lives just south of Portales, said the rain gauge at his house recorded 4.80 inches of precipitation for the year as of Sunday.
“That’s not much for the year so far, but then, most of that fell within the last five to six weeks, which was a lot,” McAlister said. “We’re very thankful for the moisture we get, but there are still parts of the county that haven’t had enough.”
Part of the problem for eastern New Mexico farmers is that recent rainfall has come in sudden downpours and often has been accompanied by hail and severe, damaging weather.
“It’s been a real mixed bag,” McAlister said. “We’ve got spots in the county where farmers can’t even get in to plant because it’s still too wet and other parts that didn’t have enough rain to do any good. But it’s also hailed out some wheat and a lot of sprinkler systems were torn up by tornadic or straight winds.”