March becomes a month of wetness

Rain drops form on a windshield as a car prepares to turn left on Prince Street from Seventh Street in the rain Friday. (Eric Kluth/Clovis News Journal)

By Darrell Todd Maurina

Clovis is on track to have record rainfall reports for the first quarter of the year, according to National Weather Service officials in Albuquerque.
“February turned out to be the second-wettest on record going back to 1911, even though January was a dry month and below normal,” said meteorologist Kerry Jones. “Even if you don’t get any more precipitation for the rest of this month, it would be the third-highest on record since 1911 for Clovis.”
The rainfall Friday night and early Saturday dropped 0.9 of an inch on Muleshoe and several reporting stations in and near Clovis recorded 0.7 of an inch or more.
Melrose farmer Grady Bright said his community’s rainfall of 0.46 of an inch is wonderful news.
“We’ve been getting rain since the end of February; it’s added up to about 2 inches and done some good,” Bright said. “The wheat is looking much better.”
Bright said the winter wheat crop due to be harvested in late June and early July needs moisture now.
“This makes a big difference when we get rain this time of year,” Bright said. “The last two years we haven’t had the rain we need.”
Livestock hauler Wilma Fulgham said farmers and ranchers are dealing with an unusual problem — mud.
“Rain is like liquid gold and we’re so thankful for it,” Fulgham said. “The wheat is just looking so great and the farmers and ranchers are counting their blessings. This has been a godsend.”
“We are in a four-year drought and the water table is so critical,” Fulgham said. “We just must have moisture to have any kind of economic development and prosperity.”
“We can’t call it a droughtbreaker yet, but it’s on the way,” said Betty Moon, a rancher in McAllister and House who reported rainfall totals between 0.33 and 0.45 of an inch.
Observers in Clovis recorded rainfall between 0.33 and 0.85 of an inch. Texico showed 0.6, Farwell recorded 0.75, and Friona showed 0.38. Official Clovis totals were 1.67 inches for the month and 3.47 for the year.
That may be all for a while, according to the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque.
“After Saturday night and early Sunday it will be dry for some time; we don’t see anything else out through the end of the week,” Jones said.