Rain fell on much of the Southwest from a few days before through a few days after the Memorial Day weekend, leaving as much as 11 inches in some locations. Other areas received as little as a trace of rain.

Randy Boman, Oklahoma State University Extension state cotton specialist, said he more than 6 inches of rain fell at his house in southwest Oklahoma.

“All of my ponds are filled up now for the first time in four years,” he said. “Unfortunately, even with this this level of precipitation, rain did not occur everywhere. Eastern Tillman County missed substantial rainfall, as well as a large area in western Oklahoma where we have cotton acres.”

He said Tom Steed and Lugert reservoirs received minimal runoff, “but Steed may come up some after the latest rainfall.   

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“This precipitation won’t break the drought,” Boman said, “but it will breathe new life into our summer crops in some places.  Others are still dry, and that is a bit disappointing.  As soon as it dries out we need to get back in the field as we have quite a bit of project planting left to do.” 

Texas gets rain

Robert Burns, Texas AgriLife Extension communications specialist, in his weekly Texas Crop and Weather report writes that many areas in Texas, some of which were under exceptional drought, received drenching rains over the Memorial Day weekend.

He also reports that the rains came slowly and continued over a period of three or more days. Flooding and washouts were minimal as the moisture had time to soak in.

“It was just a wonderful rain,” said Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension agronomist and Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences associate department head, College Station. “It’ll make a tremendous difference for livestock operations. We’ll grow a lot of grass and hay with this. Much of the High Plains just had no moisture for planting. This one event won’t make a crop, but it’ll get them well on the way.”

Parts of the Panhandle, the South Plains and the Rolling Plains received varying amounts, from as little as 0.5 inch to 6 inches.

Burns reports that West Central Texas and the San Angelo area may have recorded the most rain, 11 inches or more according to some reports.

Burns consulted his counterpart in San Angelo.

“Since the first of the year we had 0.85 inch, the driest in a century,” said Steve Byrns, AgriLife Extension communications specialist, San Angelo. “But since Friday (May 23) at my house, I’ve had almost a foot of rain — including 1.5 inches we received last Monday night. What a blessing!”

Miller said some areas missed out. Only the more western counties in South Texas received rain, about 1.5 inches in some cases. In the Rolling Plains, the western counties got about 4 inches, while the eastern half of the region was largely left dry.

Miller said for areas that did get rain it came at a good time. “There’s still time to plant most crops.”

He said most growers will need more rain during the growing season but some areas with heavy rainfall may have had enough to fill soil profiles, “which will carry crops toward maturity, although more rain will be needed to make a good crop.”