North Texans enjoy getting out and getting soaked

Posted Sunday, Jul. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH The track at Rockwood Go Carts was rain soaked and slick as employees prepared to pack up and go home early Sunday afternoon.

But manager Chris Baker couldn’t help but smile about the rain.

“I still give the rain a thumbs up,” Baker said. “We had a downpour this morning and its been a good steady rain all day. And we’ve still had riders. People love to ride in the rain.”

Baker, like many in North Texas, had an extra skip in his step as he prepared to close up shop and enjoy the rare summertime occurrence that many North Texans seemed to be out soaking up Sunday afternoon.

And forecasters say there’s more to come.

“We’re going to have a good chance of more rain all the way through Wednesday,” said Eric Martello, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Fort Worth.

Martello said a low-pressure system that moved slowly into North Texas and a high-pressure system that moved out of the area resulted in the moisture and cooler temperatures on Sunday.

The high on Saturday was 101 degrees at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and it reached just 81 Sunday before the rains arrived. It never got close to 81 the rest of the day. And that 81 degrees tied the record set on July 14, 1989 for the lowest high temperature for that day.

Typically, a high pressure system brings oven-like temperatures and dry conditions to North Texas during this time of year. Under that system, temperatures would hover around 100 degrees and a few drops of rain might fall, adding to the drought conditions in the area.

And although the rain is expected to help, lake levels still remain low. Three-quarters of Texas was experiencing severe to exceptional drought conditions Sunday, a 6 percent increase from just days ago, according to the weekly Drought Monitor released by the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Lake levels across North Texas continue to be low. Lake Bridgeport is more than 18 feet low. Possum Kingdom, also managed by the Brazos River Authority, is 11 feet below normal.

Statewide, the overall reservoir capacity of lakes is at 64 percent, down 10 percent from the same time a year ago, according to the Texas Water Development Board.

Area officials said Sunday’s rain will not affect water restrictions. Twice-a-week outdoor restrictions went into effect last month for almost all of Tarrant County.

One of the driest and hottest months in North Texas, July typically sees an average rainfall of 2.16 inches for the month. Forecasters predict Fort Worth and Tarrant County could see that much rain in the next 48 hours.

“It’s not typical for North Texas,” said meteorologist Jennifer Dunn. “This type of pattern happens in the spring or fall.”

While Tarrant County could see one to two inches of rain, residents in west and southwest Fort Worth could see heavier rainfall totals, possibly up to four inches.

Some isolated thunderstorms may occur, but forecasters say the lack of heat during the day may limit the storms.

Forecasters predict a 60 percent chance of rain Monday, 40 percent chance Tuesday and Wednesday, and 20 percent chance Thursday and Friday.

The showers and rain also are bringing cooler temperatures. Forecasters are predicting highs in the upper 70s today.

Sunday’s rain didn’t stop the golfers at Putt-Putt Golf & Games in west Fort Worth where a few players enjoyed playing through the steady rainfall.

“We let them play as long as there’s no lightning,” said Azucena Martinez, assistant manager. “The batting cages are closed, but people still come to play golf in the rain or play in the gameroom.”

This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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