Storm clouds

Storm clouds lingered over Killeen on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, the remnants of a system that passed through the area over the weekend, dumping 1.09 inches of rain at Fort Hood on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018. 

Monday was overcast, but no rain fell and none is predicted for most of the week, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Rain chances remained at 10 percent overnight but are not expected to continue throughout the week, meteorologist Jaime Gudemstad said.

“It will stay relatively dry through the rest of the work week,” meteorologist Bianca Villanueva said. “Into the weekend, still staying pretty dry with most of the rain chances being in the north along the Texas-Oklahoma border.”

Thunderstorms drenched Fort Hood with 1.09 inches of rain Sunday with the heaviest rainfall recorded in the afternoon to evening, Villanueva said.

A rain meter in Killeen was reportedly out of service over the weekend but a weather service co-operative observer reported that 2.53 inches of rain had fallen two miles southwest of Killeen since Friday.

The Killeen Police Department received 14 calls for service regarding traffic accidents from 2 p.m. to midnight Sunday, said Ofelia Miramontez, Killeen Police Department spokeswoman.

This is nearly double the eight calls Miramontez said the department received the previous Sunday when it was not raining.

Lampasas got 1.20 inches of rain from Friday to Sunday, Gudmestad said.

The weather service said Temple received a total of 2.01 inches since the storm system blew into the area on Friday.

Stillhouse Hollow Lake received 3.02 inches over the weekend.

The weather service doesn’t operate a monitoring station in Belton, but the U.S. Geological Survey reported Belton Lake received 4.8 inches of rain over the weekend.

The heavy rainfall prompted commissioners to lift the Bell County burn ban that had been in effect since mid-June.

The commissioners court made a unanimous decision to lift the prohibition Monday morning, according to FME News Service.

“We can look at it next Monday, if we need to,” Bell County Judge Jon Burrows told FME.

“We got at least 2.5 inches of rain throughout the county,” said Steve Casey, Bell County fire marshal. “We may put (the burn ban) back on next week if we don’t get any more rain.”

Casey said residents looking to burn may do so but still need to call the burn ban phone number, 254-933-5555 and that only wood products are allowed to be burned.

The burn ban in Coryell County was also temporarily lifted Monday and will remain inactive for two weeks, said Mark Wilcox, Coryell County Sheriff’s Department deputy chief.

The burn ban in Lampasas County was still active as of press time.

“We are just looking at how much tall and dead grass we have,” said Lampasas County Judge Wayne Boultinghouse. “And if it warms up, the grass will dry up really quickly, even if the ground is still wet.”

Monday’s high was 92 degrees, and a general warming trend is expected throughout the area this week, with high temperatures anticipated to be 95 to 97 degrees by Friday, Villanueva said.

Ted Ryan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said while the rain was helpful, it won’t pull the county out of drought conditions, but it will likely downgrade the severity of the drought status.

The U.S. Drought Monitor categorizes drought conditions on a scale from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought.” Most of the county was labeled under “extreme drought” — the second most severe classification.

“It’s certainly not going to hurt. This rainfall is coming at a time when we desperately need it, but it’s not going to end the drought,” Ryan said. “Most of that area is in extreme to exceptional drought as of last week. With the rain coming in, it will pare back the severity of the drought to more of a severe-drought category.”

As welcome as the weekend precipitation was, it hardly made a dent in the county’s need for rain.

“We were thinking we needed anywhere from 9-12 inches to end the drought, and most of the area got 2-4 inches,” Ryan said.

FME News Service staff writers Cody Weems and Jacob Sanchez contributed to this report. | 254-501-7557


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