The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Karl Terry

When rain will stop, who knows, who cares


October 8, 2017

I grew up reading the rain reports from around the county in the local newspaper. The editors had the farmers trained to call in their rain totals after a storm and color was added by interviewing a few of the local dirt tillers.

Examples of some of those reports went something like this:

• “We got 6-tenths of gentle soaking rain that fell all night.”

• “I had an inch and a half when I checked at 5:30 this morning then another 2-tenths by 10 a.m.”

• “It came down real hard just before dark with marble-sized hail for a while.”

These days we get that rain total report on Facebook or by text message, sometimes with photos uploaded for proof. But if one of those farmers of days gone by had reported some of the totals we’ve seen in the last two months he would have been branded “a bit windy” by his peers.

Indeed no one had ever seen what we’ve experienced in August and September this year in Eastern New Mexico. I know I’ve never seen anything like it — even during the two years when I lived on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The other day I noticed a really good toadstool growing out of a really heavily graveled driveway. I’ve seen them in over-watered lawns but not driveways. Then as I got into the car at my mom’s earlier in the week I noticed a snail on the driveway. She said that’s nothing, and to come look at the size of the two snails on the front porch.

Two football tailgates I helped plan on two consecutive weekends got rained out. I noticed a tow truck pulling out a pickup stuck on one of the roads a block from my house. All are signs the weather has been wet.

My new preacher who hails from the east coast, where it really does rain, believes those who interviewed him and asked if he could adapt to a dry, windy climate are crazy.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even used an umbrella twice this week. Heck, around here we can’t even admit to owning an umbrella without a good snicker.

How wet has it been, you ask? I’ll tell you.

While writing this column I heard a weather report that showed 5-7 inches had fallen in the last day over the watershed right above Ute Lake. Earlier in the day they reported over 5 inches near Fort Sumner causing the Pecos River to get out of its banks.

For Portales, where I live, we officially had 9.09 inches of rain in August compared to an average for that month of 3.35. In September we received 5.3 inches with the average being 1.93. Eight days into October I’ve already surpassed our monthly average of 1.65 inches.

We’ve had nearly 29 inches of rain in the past 12 months. We’re only supposed to get 6-7 inches a year folks. Don’t tell August.

When will it stop? Who cares since I have a brand new roof.

And right on cue as I finish up this column, the torrents come down again.

Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:


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