Recent downpour providing drought relief for South Plains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Recent downpour providing drought relief for South Plains

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

The skies have opened up over the South Plains recently, but is it enough to end the drought? Experts say we're headed in the right direction.

National Weather Service Meteorologist, Ron McQueen says Lubbock has received five to eight inches of rain this year.

"What we've seen is a return to fairly normal rainfall... That means that we've had a number of rainfall events, some of them have had a lot of rain," McQueen said.

The numbers are still a little below average for the year, but a positive increase since last year.

"It's much better, but we're still behind here because we did have a very dry start to the year, 2012, but we've come up here lately. So we are still behind, but we are definitely headed in the right direction," McQueen said.

2011 was a record drought year for the South Plains. Lubbock saw just over one inch of rain by this time last year.

"Compared to last year, there is no comparison. We are a night and day difference... It was the worst single drought on record for this area and we maybe had just over an inch of rain," McQueen said.

The National Weather Service is predicting average rainfall for the summer months. Therefore, if we stay with the same pattern we've seen recently, relief is in sight, possibly in the next month or two.

"We still need this rain to continue on and lets eat away at this drought," McQueen said.

There is also the possibility of an El Nino winter developing. If that's the case, the area may receive more moisture. However, we won't know for certain until the end of the summer.

"Here in Texas, we tend to swing wildly between wet and dry periods, so here would be a chance to go back the other way and maybe restock our water shortage issues," McQueen said.

We'll just have to wait and see and be thankful for all the recent rain.

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