Rain hits dry northern Arkansas
"The streak is over!" was the exclamation early Oct. 26 from Randy Chlapecka, Jackson County staff chair for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, as a line of thundershowers swept the entire state, north to south.
Around 8:30 a.m., Chlapecka said his rain gauge was reading just over half an inch and the rain was still falling lightly.
The day before, he was lamenting the clouds that went south, noting it had been 30 days since he'd received any rain at his house. This rain represented a move from dust to a starting point for winter wheat planting for some producers.
"The soil moisture situation is really borderline for many of our wheat producers," Chlapecka said. "Some are going to go ahead and plant while others really need some more rain to have enough moisture to plant."
In White County, Keith Martin said the clouds opened there too, to the tune of about .75 inches.
"It is more than we had but probably not enough to allow us to plant wheat or even to get the ground wet more than an inch or so deep," Martin, county Extension agent for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, said. "We still need a significant amount of rain."
The division's Livestock and Forestry Station in Batesville finally received a bit of rain--three-tenths of an inch. Just after noon, Station Director Don Hubbell said: "It's already gone."
The station hadn't received anything since a 1-inch rain on Sept. 16.
"Pastures are very short or finished," he said. "We are feeding some hay to supplement our pastures that we are grazing.
"Our stockpiles got a start but did not get very far before the rain stopped," Hubbell said. "We are looking at about a quarter to a third of what we normally have at this time in our fescue stockpiles."
Unofficial 24-hour rainfall totals as of 7:30 a.m. Oct. 26 included .58 inches at the Hot Springs Airport, .05 inches at Jonesboro, a trace at the Newport and Pine Bluff airports.
There was enough moisture for burn bans to disappear from Desha, Drew, Hot Spring, Howard, Lafayette, and Lincoln counties by Oct. 26.