SAN ANGELO – A severe thunderstorm blew through San Angelo just after midnight into early Thursday morning dumping .37 inches of much needed rain in what could turn out to be a 'wet' drought year.
The National Weather Service office at Mathis Field in San Angelo issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning just after midnight lasting to 1:30 a.m. Thursday as an isolated storm cell at Christoval with lots of lightning, high winds, heavy rain and some small hail moved north over Twin Buttes Reservoir and then the City of San Angelo.
Officially at the airport .37 inches of rain was recorded between midnight and 2 a.m. That puts the annual rainfall for San Angelo at 7.63 inches which is 1.7 inches below normal.
The average rainfall in San Angelo is 21.25 inches annually. In a 'Dry' drought year like 2011, the city received only 2.48 inches of precipitation by this time compared to the 7.63 inches recorded this year. And the dry summer months begin at the end of June.
There is a slight chance of some scattered rain Friday night but the big weather story is the heat. Highs are forecast to reach 101 Friday afternoon and 104 by Wednesday. And the long, hot summer stretch is just beginning.
Historically in a drought year, wet or dry, San Angelo sees a rain event around July 4, then again around August 15, and then near September 1 with several days of temperatures above 100 degrees stretching from May to late September before seeing a return to precipitation on a regular basis in the fall months.
Precipitation is critical to the West Texas economy. Production agriculture crops like cotton need copious amounts of rain at the right times during the summer growing months, livestock need rainfall to grow forage in pastures, and people need water in reservoirs and aquifers for drinking and bathing and such. Runoff into area lakes are a boost to recreational activities like boating and fishing as well.