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April 5, 2013

April showers bring relief but no end to drought

NORMAN — Norman received over three inches of rain during the three day period running from April 1-3 said National Weather Service meteorologist Bruce Theron.

“From the Cleveland County Mesonet located at Westheimer Airport, 3.37 inches which is about the average rainfall that you would receive in the entire month of April,” Theron said. “But March was a little bit dry, so we made up for that and got a good start on April. This did not break the drought.”

More rain could be on the way early next week.

“It’s a rather large storm system,” Theron said. “By Monday, possibly Sunday, our rain chances could increase.”

Severe weather could be in store including a probability of damaging hail and wind and a potential for tornadoes.

“It’s time for everybody to clean out their storm shelters,” Theron said.

Theron said it’s important to plan ahead and know what to do in case of severe weather. Waiting until the tornado is in sight is often too late to find shelter.

“The set-up we’re seeing could bring several rounds of severe weather beginning Sunday afternoon, and again Monday and Tuesday afternoons and evenings as the dry line sets up somewhere in the Texas panhandle and a strong storm system moves closer to the southern plains,” said Rick Smith NWS Meteorologist. “It’s too early for exact details, but it looks like severe storms would progressively increase in coverage and intensity as we go from Sunday afternoon through Monday and into Tuesday.

“This is a strong early April storm system, and I expect we’ll be dealing with supercells each day, along with the threat of tornadoes and large hail,” Smith said.

Oklahoma’s water woes are far from over, however, and Norman remains under mandatory water conservation.

The conservation pool at Lake Thunderbird is 1,032.6 feet — still 6.5 feet below normal, but up from last week. Those numbers mean the conservation pool is just over 67 percent full.

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