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KERA Weather Blog
Thu July 17, 2014
LIVE BLOG: The Upside Of 11 Inches Of Rain? Parched Lakes Get Some Relief
Update, 2:47 p.m.: Northern Wise, northern Denton, and southern Cooke counties received the most rain today, in some places, up to 11 inches, National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cavanaugh tells KERA.
“It’s pretty rare to get a 10-inch rainfall anywhere in North Texas when it doesn’t have to do with decaying remnants of a tropical system,” he says.
Outside of some flash flooding, the rain has been a relief across much of North Texas. Northwest of Fort Worth, Lake Bridgeport had been 22 feet below level in recent weeks. Six to 8 inches of rain poured into some streams feeding into that lake, Cavanaugh says. Lake Ray Roberts, north of Denton, benefited the most from the heavy rain and will probably continue to rise.
“July is usually the driest month of the year, so anytime we can get some rain in July, it’s almost always making up for some deficit somewhere,” says Cavanaugh.
Wichita Falls, where the drought has prompted a "toilet-to-tap" water program, missed some of today's heavier storms, but the eastern part of Wichita County saw some rain. It won’t have a significant impact on the city’s water woes, Cavanaugh says, but any little bit helps.
There have been no reports of injuries so far, despite rescue crews pulling people out of their homes in Krum.
Update, 1:40 p.m.: Showers are moving eastward at 10-20 mph, says the National Weather Service. So far, there have mostly been instances of rain and flash flooding, but they're not ruling out lightning and gusty winds. They're also anticipating some thunderstorm development throughout the afternoon.
Update, 12:42 p.m.: A flash flood warning has been issued for the Big Sandy Creek near Bridgeport. Flood stage for creek is 12 feet, and as of 12:15 p.m., the stage was a little over nine feet.
According to the National Weather Service, moderate overbank flow along the creek is expected at 14 feet. Farm and ranch land will be flooded at that stage, as well as rural roads along the creek.
The Flash Flood Warning for southern Cooke, Wise and Denton counties has been canceled.
Heavy rain will be sticking around North Texas for the rest of the day and into Friday morning, according
to the National Weather Service.
Rainfall rates have been about 1 to 1.5 inches per hour so far, with some of the heaviest rains occurring over Azle. There's currently a Flash Flood Warning for Bosque and Hamilton county until 11:45 a.m. In Denton and Tarrant counties, there's an Urban and Small Stream Advisory Warning until 12:15 p.m.
National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Stalley says in Denton County, some areas have received up to 10 inches of rain.
"These showers are going to continue over the same area and [the storm system] is moving very slowly," he says. "Once an area starts seeing rain, its usually going to last quite a while."
While the heavy rain is a little bit unusual for mid-July, Stalley points out that its not unheard of.
"This is something you're more used to seeing in the spring or early fall, but it's certainly a nice break from the summer and we're getting some much-needed rain to help out our drought conditions a little bit too."
Steven Williams with the Lake Ray Roberts Marina in Sanger says that the rain has brought lake levels up there by three feet since last night.
“We were getting close to where our shoreline was getting to close to the boat houses, and we would have had to move the boats out into the middle of the lake,” Williams says. “[This rain] has made it to where it looks like we’ll make it through at least to the end of summer. It’s helping us out a lot.”
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