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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Despite Shower, Roscoe Rainfall in Record Territory

On Saturday, it finally rained.  It wasn’t much of a rain, but it was rain—real rain, wet stuff from the sky.  Lyndall Underwood’s weather station on the west side of town recorded only .15 of an inch, hardly a gully washer, but you wouldn’t have known it from the excitement it caused around town.

I have a Facebook account, and a large percentage of my Facebook friends who live in Roscoe duly noted the unusual event in their status lines with announcements in all caps and/or multiple exclamation marks: “RAIN!” “It’s raining!!!!!!” and so on.

It’s hard to blame their enthusiasm.  There’s been so little precipitation this year that all the dryland cotton crops in the area have already been condemned and are in line to receive crop insurance, ranchers are keeping the auction barns open past closing time trying to sell their cattle, and people who are keeping their livestock are having trouble finding hay since grazing has been so sparse this year.  And the dry weather has been the cause of more destructive wildfires this spring than anyone can remember. 

The Abilene Reporter-News recently reported that this June was the hottest one on record, and a couple of weeks ago a New York Times article mentioned that since last October the state of Texas has experienced its driest nine-month stretch ever. 

All this talk of records made me wonder just how this year in Roscoe measures up to others  from the past, so I contacted Roscoe’s official record keeper for rainfall, Kenny Landfried, and asked him if he could supply me with statistics about rainfall in Roscoe over the years.  He was happy to do so, providing me with the monthly totals for the past 75 years. 

Official record keeping for Roscoe dates back to 1936 when E. M. Cooper began recording all the rains that fell and totaling them up at the end of each month and year.  He faithfully kept the books for the next forty years until his death in 1976.  Then, his son-in-law Harold Haynes took over the job and held it until 1992 when he passed it on to Kenny Landfried, who’s been keeping the records ever since.   

The statistics have their own story to tell, and since this past week has been pretty slow as regards newsworthy events, now is a good time to present some of the more interesting ones.

The complete monthly and annual rainfall totals for Roscoe from 1936 to the present are available for viewing, downloading, and printing by clicking here.


Average Annual Rainfall 1936-2010 (75 years) – 22.15 inches

Most Yearly Rainfall:
    1. 1991 – 37.05 inches
    2. 1986 – 37.00 inches
    3. 1941 – 36.62 inches

Least Yearly Rainfall:
    1. 1998 – 9.35 inches
    2. 2003 – 10.86 inches
    3. 1956 – 10.89 inches

Most Monthly Rainfall:
    1. September 1980 – 17.62 inches
    2. August 1971 – 12.60 inches
    3. April 1957 – 11.62 inches

Most Rainfall in a 3-Month Stretch: April, May, June 1957 – 24.57 inches

Least Rainfall in a 3-Month Stretch: October, November, December 1950 – 0.00 inches 
(The following month, January 1951, had .09 inch, making for a 4-month total of less than a tenth of an inch, also a record.)

Least Rainfall in a 6-Month Stretch: October 1950 through March 1951 – 1.29 inches

Least Rainfall in a 9-Month Stretch: October 2010 through June 2011 – 4.78 inches   

Least Rainfall in a Year’s First 6 Months:
    1. 2011 – 2.62 inches
    2. 1984 – 2.68 inches
    3. 1952 – 4.52 inches
(Even with the official .18 inch recorded on Saturday, 2011 is still the driest year on record to this point, only 2.80 inches for the entire year.) 

1 comment:

  1. It will occur rain or shine. The lecture will be given by John Martin, UIS professor of astronomy and physics, who will explain the origin and physics that cause the celestial fireworks show known as the Perseid Meteor Shower.


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