April rainfall one for record books

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer

Friday’s rainfall put 2004 into the record book as having one of the wettest Aprils in Clovis history.
In fact, rainfall totals so far this year show Clovis previously has seen more moisture in the first four months only one year since records have been kept.
“It looks to me like this could be the third or fourth wettest April in your records; it will definitely be in the top five,” said Dave Scheibe with the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque.
Through Tuesday, official rainfall numbers in Clovis were 6.81 inches so far this year. Half of that — 3.34 inches — came in April. According to numbers provided by Scheibe, that compares with 9.41 inches in 1915 and 6.76 inches in 1997. No other recent years come close to the 1997 number; Clovis’ only other year with more than five inches of rain was 1941 when the city recorded 6.51 inches.
Initial reports show Friday’s rainfall totaled 0.17 of an inch at the National Weather Service’s official reporting station. Some unofficial observers in Clovis recorded as much as 0.38 of an inch. Farwell reported 0.25 of an inch, Texico reported 0.20 of an inch, and Portales reported 0.14 of an inch.
Rainfall farther away from Clovis dropped off significantly with Melrose reporting 0.08 of an inch, Friona reporting 0.04 of an inch, and McAlister and House reporting only a trace.
Even though her ranch in McAlister didn’t share in Friday’s rain, Betty Moon said her family is happy with all the rain they’ve received earlier this year.
“The wheat is growing and looking pretty; the grass is green for the first time in four years,” Moon said. “If we don’t get a hail we may have a harvest.”
Moon said her family bought corn seed Friday and hopes to begin planting soon.
Grady Bright, a retired rancher from Melrose, said his community has seen 3.03 inches of rainfall in April.
“It still looks good,” Bright said. “It’s adding up; it’s wetter.”
Bright said the main benefit of the rain will be to the wheat crop, but the recent rains should help planting for crops in a few weeks.
“The wheat crop is the only thing that is growing at present and they’re planting some milo and summer crops in two or three weeks,” Bright said.