Rain dumps on Clovis

Jeremiah Staber (right) and Mark Garcia, both 10, play in the puddles Monday near their Clovis home. Clovis received 2.21 inches of rain from Friday night to 8 a.m. on Monday, according to the National Weather Service. (Staff photo: Mike Linn)

By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ staff writer

It’s getting hard to stay dry around here. Some streets are starting to resemble lakes and puddles are almost unavoidable. Umbrellas, boots and rain coats have become all too familiar.

Officially, Clovis recorded 2.21 inches of rain from Friday through 8 a.m. Monday, the National Weather Service reported, pushing the year’s total well above the yearly average — and we still have three months left in the year.

As of 8 a.m. on Monday, Clovis had officially received 19.8 inches of moisture for the year, according to the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. The city’s annual moisture average is about 17.8 inches.

This is the first year since 1999 Clovis received more than its average in a single year, weather records show. The city received 20.59 inches of moisture in 1999.

If October, November and December produce normal rainfall, the city could approach 23 inches of moisture and could have its wettest year since 1992, when it saw 23.37 inches fall.

Farmers, usually thankful for rain, may not be this time. “It means different things for different farmers,” said Mark Marsalis, agronomist at New Mexico State University’s Agricultural Science Center located 13 miles north of Clovis.

“If they were getting close to harvesting, it’s not very good,” he said.

Marsalis said many farmers in this area may be harvesting corn or sorghum.

The rain isn’t bad for all farmers, Marsalis said. “If you’re a dry-land wheat farmer and just planted wheat, then it’s welcome rain,” he said.

Though the system that has been keeping Clovis wet should have moved out of the area early this morning, a new system should move in by the end of week, increasing the chances of rain once again, forecasters said.

“You’re not going to get any really great drying spell,” said Brent Walchter, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

“It will dry out a little toward the end of the weekend.”

Ken De Los Santos, Curry County’s emergency management coordinator, recommends paying attention to the beeping and scrolling bar across the television screen for information on local flash-flood watches and warnings.

De Los Santos said flash-flood warnings in this area warn mainly of flooding in city streets , so people should be cautious when driving. “When you see water on the road, drive cautiously, because water may be deeper than you think,” he said.