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Gauging the rainfall in Rowan

By Steve Huffman
Salisbury Post
Many residents of Rowan and surrounding counties think this has been a wet spring, with an abundance of rain.
That’s not exactly accurate.
Compared with the amount of rain the area received last summer and fall, there has been a considerable amount of precipitation.
But thus far this year, Rowan County’s rainfall total is still more than 3 inches below average.
“Summer and fall were so bad last year,” said John Tomko, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
“The winter and spring have seemed wet by comparison.”
Thus far this year, the area’s rainfall total is 15.09 inches, still 3.10 inches below normal.
Last year’s rainfall total to this point was slightly higher ó 15.27 inches. But that’s when the wet stuff all but halted.
For all of 2007, only 28.61 inches of rain fell on Rowan and surrounding counties. The area’s average annual rainfall total is 44.03 inches.
Despite some recent rain, we’re far from turning the corner, say local growers.
“It’s still drier than normal,” said Oscho Deal, an Enochville farmer.
He’s got hay baled in the fields and said almost an inch of rain that fell Wednesday night will help with summer crops. But Deal said he’d love to see more rain before he starts harvesting small grain crops within a few weeks.
At the Piedmont Research Station, Director Joe Hampton says much the same thing.
He said that while there’s been a fair amount of rain falling in recent months, what’s not falling is excess precipitation.
“The ponds are still low,” Hampton said. “What we’ve got has been adequate for the crops, but we’re not catching up with what we’ve done without.”
He said the spring has been better than many recent ones, however, in that temperatures have been fairly cool.
“The past five or six years, we’ve gone straight from winter to summer,” Hampton said. “We’ve had a little bit of spring this year.”
Rainfall amounts recorded thus far this year at L.L. Goodnight & Sons on Saw Road in Enochville are as follows. The station reports the totals to the National Weather Service:
– January, 1.41 inches;
– February, 2.83 inches;
– March, 3.71 inches;
– April, 4.52 inches;
– May 2.62 inches.
Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman@salisburypost.com

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