McCook area drenched by overnight downpour

Monday, July 9, 2007

An overnight downpour drenched the McCook area Sunday night and Monday morning, delivering rainfall amounts of more than three inches in McCook, Indianola, Bartley and Edison.

"The storm stalled over your area," said Brad Mickelson, a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Goodland. "You were the lucky ones again."

He was referring to the deluge of rain which has fallen in the McCook area this year.

After years of below average precipitation, the area is benefitting from a resurgence in precipitation in 2007, with the year-to-date moisture total reaching 15.12 inches as of 12:01 a.m. today. That is more than twice as much rain as the 6.92 inches which had fallen by this date in 2006.

As of midnight, the official amount of rain measured at the McCook Regional Airport was 2.78 inches, but it kept raining after that, pushing the overnight total to 3.28 inches by the time the rain stopped this morning.

Even larger measurements were recorded in residential rain gauges, with 4.10 inches reported north of the McCook airport and 5 inches filling a rain gauge in Bartley.

To the south, the storm produced high winds and hail. Corey King, a meterologist with the National Weather Service in Hastings said penny to nickel-size hail was reported in Edison and at a location three miles north/northwest of Oxford.

The hail stones were accompanied by high winds, with six-inch limbs snapped in Beaver City. The damaging wind and hail hit between 11:25 and 11:45 p.m., King said.

The rainfall in the McCook area was the result of a thunderstorm which was moving from west to east. "We received only a trace in Goodland, but after stalling over the McCook area, the rains kept falling as the storm diminished," Michelson said.

Rainfall amounts at area lakes, gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation office in McCook, show that the showers were heaviest from McCook east.

By far the most rainfall at the reservoirs was received at Harry Strunk Lake, northwest of Cambridge. In the 24-hour reporting period -- from 7 a.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday -- a total of 3.73 inches of precipitation was received.

The amounts of precipitation at the other area reservoirs included: Hugh Butler Lake, north of McCook, 1.11 inches; Norton Reservoir, .88; Swanson Reservoir, between Trenton and Stratton, .34; Enders Reservoir, .11; and Harlan County, near Alma, .02.

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