Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

July 16, 2013

Rain brings fall feel to summer

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat — For Garvin County and much of the state it’s been an abrupt turnaround from the blazing hot summer heat to some much needed relief.

Just as the weather pattern seemed to be settling into the daily category of very hot, things turned around this past weekend as the area sky got darker with clouds that brought cooler temperatures and some refreshing rain showers.

The system feeling more like autumn included light but steady rains on Sunday that continued into Monday. They’re sure to benefit the area, said the county’s emergency management director.

Bud Ramming believes the rain received here should help keep any fire danger down for the time being.

“It definitely helped a little bit,” Ramming said.

“I’ve talked to a few people and their rain gauges showed we got 1 to 2 inches of rain,” he said about the Sunday rains. “If we actually got that I feel we’ll be in good shape, at least for a while.

“With this rain everything is even looking greener.”

The rain came at a good time as the conditions out there were starting to get dry thanks in large part to the hot summer temperatures in recent weeks.

“The vegetation we had was growing up and drying out. That’s not good because that’s fuel for these grassfires that can break out,” Ramming said.

Before the arrival of the rains there had been a few wildfires in the county but not many.

Ramming believes without the rain those fire calls might have been on the rise soon with vegetation out there starting to dry out.

The dry conditions are far worse in others parts of the state, namely counties in western Oklahoma.

In fact Cotton County located south of Lawton recently became the first county in the state to have a burn ban issued this year.

“There were a few counties leaning the same direction as Cotton County. This rain helped out most of them. I know it really helped this county,” he said.

“Right now we’re in pretty good shape. We’re in much better shape than in the last couple of years. It should help out a bunch.”

For the moment those drought-like conditions from the last two years have disappeared at a very unlikely time of year, the middle of summer.

“This weather pattern is very unusual with the cooler temperatures and more moisture that’s coming from the east to the west,” Ramming said. “That’s really unusual for this time of year.”

While talking about the subject he checked the temperature outside to find it was only in the 60s at one point on Monday.

“This is the middle of July. We’re usually in the upper 80s or lower 90s by now.”