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Monday, November 13, 2000

Rainfall goes over year-to-date total

DALLAS (AP) — North Texas officially caught up with its year-to-date rainfall average early Sunday, logging more than 30 inches so far in 2000. But more than one average year is needed to make up for several years of drought, National Weather Service meteorologists said.

Just under an inch of rain had fallen by Sunday afternoon in most of North Texas, said meteorologist Mark Fox of the Fort Worth weather station. He said lakes and reservoirs will need more to recharge than the light rain that peppered the Dallas-Fort Worth-area, following storms and snowfall earlier this month.

“We are still so far behind we need more rain than this to make a few dents in it,” Fox said. “It would take a pretty general rain, say a 3- to 5-inch rain over every square inch of North Texas for several days, to make a difference in the reservoirs.”

That is because North Texas is still suffering from several years of drought, with last year's rainfall 10 inches below the normal annual rainfall of 33.7 inches, he said. The average rainfall through Nov. 12 is 30.52 inches. By mid-afternoon Sunday, 31.02 inches had fallen, Fox said.

“We are still trying to make up for lost time,” Fox said.

Between a quarter and a half inch fell between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday, he said. Sunday's rains were caused by a combination of moisture in the air and a cold front, he said.

Scattered rain and lows of 32 degrees were expected late Sunday and early Monday, he said.

Last week, snow fell in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, creating icy bridges northwest of Dallas where at least an inch of snow fell.

In Abilene, 3 to 5 inches of snow fell, causing a delay in classes and several minor traffic accidents, while as much as 9 inches blanketed parts of the Panhandle.

In the first week of November, the state was pummeled by four days of heavy rains and strong winds, resulting in flooding that claimed six lives.

A record 24-hour rainfall was set at DFW International Airport earlier this month, when 2.14 inches of rain surpassed the earlier mark of 1.59 inches set in 1957.

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