April showers could beat record

Clovis City Worker Juan Bolaños drains water from field four of the Guy Leeder Softball Complex Tuesday during a light rain shower. League play is scheduled to begin Wednesday. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.

By Ryan Lengerich

The seemingly unending April rain has turned lawns green, soaked streets and brought smiles to people in an area where gold comes from clouds, not the ground.

Clovis is on pace to set a record for April rainfall and has had above average precipitation for three consecutive months.

Moreover, the city has already received 2.13 inches of rain as of 8 a.m. Tuesday — double the April average.

Unofficial rain totals in Clovis for Tuesday at 9 p.m. were .75 of an inch.

This is the first April the city has received more than 2 inches since 1997, when more than 5 inches fell. The April rainfall record is 6.77 inches in 1915.

But don’t expect the city to set any yearly records. In 1941, Clovis totaled a record 46.91 inches.

“We would probably float away,” said Nancy McPherson, an Clovis observer for the National Weather Service.

Dann Brown, associate professor of agriculture at Eastern New Mexico University, said while area residents can revel in the recent downpours, the dry days may not be behind us.
“It is important to remember with this rainfall, we are not going to come out of a prolonged drought with this short term intensity of rainfall,” Brown said. “Oftentimes we forget we live in a feast or famine world here.
“Right now we are feasting.”

Brown said there is no particular reason for the onslaught of precipitation.

“It is just a chance coming together of various factors,” he said.

In Clovis, the rain caused flash flooding watches over the weekend and canceled the Texico vs. Logan baseball game on Tuesday.

Brown said he expects the downfall to make golf course fairways more green and set the foundation for gardens and lawns in the area.

“This will jump-start lawns and trees and we should have a beautiful spring,” he said.

Those planning to put fertilizers or other chemicals on their lawn will still need to water in the chemicals, he said.

The Associated Press is predicting temperatures to reach highs in the 50s Saturday and Sunday. Those unseasonably low temperatures, combined with the rains could disrupt the formation of fruit on fruit trees and kill newly germinating plants, Brown said.

The Associated Press is reporting a chance of rain on Thursday and through the weekend, keeping Clovis on pace to reach the yearly average.

“If this keeps up we might get at or above average,” McPherson said. “That would be nice.”