A stationary cold front, along with more moisture, led to days of rain in Kilgore that continue, but the rainfall amounts have eliminated drought conditions in the region.
The rain will end Sunday beginning in the west and continuing eastward.
“Showers and thunderstorms keep developing along and behind the stationary front,” National Weather Service hydrologist CS Ross said about the root cause of the rain event. Those storms mixed with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and from the East Pacific off the coast of Mexico to generate even more storms.
From Tuesday evening through Thursday morning at about 11:15, the National Weather Service had recorded 2.97 inches of rain at its measuring station at Rabbit Creek river gauge.
Thursday, Ross said, another two to four inches could fall across Kilgore before the cold front – and the rain – moved out Sunday.
With the ground saturated by Wednesday afternoon, Ross said, runoff from any additional rain will be immediate, creating a greater potential for flooding in low-lying or flood-prone areas.
NWS meteorologist technician Lisa May noted Saturday’s storms come with a chance of severe weather. Whenever there is a chance of severe weather or flooding, she suggested people have their phones close by to receive any alerts, watches or warnings that may be issued.
B.J. Clark, who keeps account of rainfall received at his Higginbotham, recorded 3.6 inches of rain Wednesday with less than an inch recorded Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The total rainfall for the year, as of Friday afternoon, was 11.63 inches.
The benefit of the rainfall is it has “completely erased” the drought, Ross said. The current Drought Monitor, published by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, does not take into account this week’s rainfall.
Each week’s issuance of the Drought Monitor measures one week’s worth of rainfall from 6 a.m. Tuesday through the following Tuesday at 6 a.m.
The next map will be released Thursday at 7:30 a.m., and Ross expects the East Texas region to be white, indicating no drought conditions, which are indicated in varying shades of yellow, orange, red and brown to show severity.
“The Drought will have completely gone away,” by next week, Ross said. “It’s already gone away for that matter.”
At the East Texas Regional Airport, the monthly rainfall total for February, as of Wednesday evening, was 6.31 inches, 3.33 inches above the normal rainfall for that same time period.
The cold front also brought cooler temperatures because it stalled with Kilgore on the chillier side.
The rain will end Sunday moving from west to east, but the possibility of rain will return in March.