May continued a streak of three months with well above-average rainfall – and that has the city’s water well fields in strong shape heading into the summer months, even as another wetter than normal month is forecast.
The month of May had 6.92 inches of rainfall in Vernon. That pushed the year-to-date rainfall to 16.6 inches through five months.
Last year Vernon had received just over four inches through five months, one of the driest starts to a year on record. That was an outlier. May is usually the wettest month of the year locally. May 2017 saw 3.92 inches of rain in May – while the two years before that rated in the top ten Mays historically at 14.99 inches in 2015 and 8.27 inches in 2016.
The May report on the City of Vernon’s water wells shows the wells are in good shape with water levels up over six feet from May 2015. The average saturated thickness in the Winston, Odell and West Acres well fields was 44.78 feet in the May measurement, up from 43.95 feet in April.
The wells measured 44.16 last year in May. In 2017 the May average static level was measured at 40.04 feet and it was at 38.23 feet in May 2015. The 2003-2010 pre-drought monthly saturated thickness average, according to city records, indicate that the average thickness for May was at 42 feet.
The two newly brought on line West Acres wells averaged over 50 feet of water when static and over 32 feet when full pumping. The two wells were also the highest performing wells of the 28 northern wells, hitting 397 and 321 gallons per minute. The best Winston& Odell well produced 300 gpm with two of those wells recorded at 50 gpm.
The in town Schmokers wells, used primarily for industry, all kept water in the well when full pumping and they produced a total of 944 gpm. Those wells historically go dry in the summer months.
The combined total pumping capacity of the city’s well was 8,543,520 gallons per day. The capacity was 7,564,320 last year in May. The capacity was 5,839,200 gallons in May 2015 as the city was in Stage 3 of its drought plan with mandatory restrictions.
The Climate Prediction Center calls for above average rainfall locally for the next three months. June is normally one of Wilbarger County’s wettest months. The CPC calls for a 50 percent probability of above average rainfall and below average temperatures in June and a 33 percent probability of below average temperatures and a 40 percent probability of above average rainfall in July and August.
Wilbarger, Foard and Hardeman Counties are in the CPC experimental model’s risk zone for heavy rainfall this month. The model has the area in the 60 percent risk zone for heavy precipitation between June 8 and June 14.
For this week the National Weather Service indicates a chance of rain locally each day, issuing the statement: “Generally an active pattern through the week ahead with chances for storms each day” with some severe at the end of the week.