As a steady rain continued Wednesday night, Shawnee resident Nancy Antosh, a National Weather Service Cooperative Observer, said she was anxiously waiting for morning to check her rain gauge and make her 24-hour rainfall totals report today.
Antosh, who has been the official NWS rainfall observer for Shawnee for the past 10 years, hasn’t had much to check in her rain gauge over the past year or two of the drought, but all that is changing this spring.
She checks her rain gauge at 8 a.m. daily and makes her official report to the NWS.
From 8 a.m. Wednesday to about 8 p.m. Wednesday night, her rain gauge had tallied 1.1 inches of rain for her area on Federal Street in Shawnee, and the rain was still coming down.
“I love it — it’s really exciting,” Antosh said, commenting on the need for the slow, steady rain that was falling. “It was getting so bad…we were wondering if the climate was changing.”
Antosh, who said Shawnee had a “wonderful” 9.49 inches of rain during the month of April, said that’s helped boost the yearly totals. So far in May, as of Wednesday night, there’s been nearly three inches of rainfall, she added.
While Shawnee’s normal from January until now would be about 16 inches of precipitation for 2013, Antosh’s records show Shawnee’s had 20.26 inches of rain so far, which puts Shawnee nearly four inches above normal for this time of the year.
“We’re above at this point,” she said.
According to the NWS, Shawnee’s normal annual rainfall, based on 30-year records, is about 41.24 inches annually. For the entire year of 2012, Shawnee had an official total of 26.76 inches of rain, with only 1.91 inches tallied in May.
With no threat of severe weather Wednesday, the sounds of the steady rainfall and occasional thunder were welcomed in the area, she said.
Shawnee/Pottawatomie County Emergency Management Director Don Lynch said there had been no problems reported from the rainfall, although there were some areas of slow runoff. He said none of the storms were reported to be severe.
“It’s just a good, old-fashioned thunderstorm,” Lynch said.
Forrest Mitchell, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Norman, said in general, a fairly large area of Oklahoma received rain, with most areas getting about one-third of an inch or more. In Seminole, he said there was about 2.4 inches tallied Wednesday night, with 1.9 inches in the Byars area.
The rains were brought in by an upper level front from Texas, Mitchell said.
Page 2 of 2 - He expected storms to dissipate overnight. Today is expected to be partly cloudy, he said, with highs in the 80s both today and Friday, while highs in the 90s are forecast for Saturday.
With another stormy rain pattern in the forecast, thunderstorms are possible for the latter part of the weekend, with the best chance being Sunday night into Monday, he said.
The effect of Wednesday’s rainfall on Shawnee Twin Lakes and Wes Watkins Reservoir wasn’t yet known Wednesday night.
The last reading at Twin Lakes, 1065.92 feet, was recorded about 6 p.m., so it could rise further following more rain and runoff.
Wes Watkins was recorded at 1066.50 feet about 8 p.m.