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Archive for Tuesday, May 7, 1996

May 7, 1996

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Nearly 3 inches of rain has fallen in Lawrence in the last 10 days.

Monday morning's rainfall led Garry Keeler to sound a little like Tony the Tiger.

"It's great!" thundered the Douglas County agriculture extension agent. "And you can put 'great' in capital letters."

To the relief of farmers and others, Lawrence recorded nearly three-quarters of an inch alone on Monday. That brought total rainfall since the dry spell ended April 28 to about 3 inches.

Though a mid-evening storm brought about a quarter-inch of rain and some pea-sized hail, a Lawrence police dispatcher said Monday night that police had received no reports of hail damage or street flooding.

The recent rains have eased grass fire dangers throughout Kansas, Gov. Bill Graves announced Monday. Graves signed a proclamation lifting the statewide ban on outdoor burning, which had been in effect since Feb. 23.

Although the wheat crop suffered this spring, the recent rains will help other crops just planted and help fill area ponds, Keeler said.

"Corn is up. It looks great," Keeler said. "There just isn't a bad thing we can say about the rain."

Today's forecast has more good news for rain fans.

WeatherData Inc. expects mostly cloudy skies today and a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight. The high today is expected to be 75.

Skies should be clearing Wednesday afternoon. But there will be a 40 percent chance for more thunderstorms Wednesday evening and a 25 percent chance of rain Thursday night.

"We're stuck in this pattern. I think we'll stay that way through as late as Thursday," said Harry Woolford, meteorologist for WeatherData.

The rain pattern is created by moist air that has been pushing north from the Gulf of Mexico, he said.

"There's a frontal boundary that has been quasi stationary across Oklahoma and Kansas. It's been doing that since Friday," he said "That has been the focus for the showers and thunderstorms across the state."

"We're still below normal rainfall, but we're catching up rapidly," he said.

Mary Knapp, the state climatologist, said that through the end of April, Lawrence had 4.28 inches of rain, which was 4.34 inches below the normal January through April rainfall of 8.62 inches. Knapp said the normal rainfall for the month of May is 4.96 inches. The city has received about 1.67 inches so far this month.

The city could catch up for the year if it rained a little more than 8 inches this month, she said.

Charlie Perry, research hydrologist for the Water Resources Division's local office at the U.S. Geological Survey, reported some flooding southwest of Lawrence, where rains have been heavy.

Perry said the Marais des Cygnes River has had minor flooding near Quenemo where the rains have come too fast for the soil to absorb.

"When you have storms that dump 2 to 3 inches in 30 minutes, you're going to get some flooding," he said.

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