Area's

 

Updated

Area's rainfall at 9.3 inches this year; more rain in forecast

By CHRISTOPHER FERRELL

Eagle Staff Writer

Eagle photo/Dave McDermand

Adrian Lara, 29, aawoke Wednesday morning to find his two vehicles smashed by a huge tree that lost its grip on saturated ground in the front yard of his College Station home.More wet weather is expected this week.

More than double the average rainfall was recorded in the Bryan-College Station area through the first six weeks of 2004, and showers could persist for another week, according to the National Weather Service.

The cities may get a break Thursday from what so far has been a wet week, but more rain could come Friday, forecasters said.

The area has received 9.3 inches of rain since Jan. 1, with more than 40 percent of that amount falling since Monday. The average yearly total at this time is 4.32 inches, said Mike Moreland, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Houston.

Much of the state has been drenched with rain in 2004, he said, thanks to a winter storm system that has settled in over Texas. The system came from the Pacific Ocean and has mixed with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to create heavy rains, he said.

“ The pattern hasn’t changed much since the beginning of the year,” Moreland said.

A dip in the mercury also could be on the horizon. Moreland said temperatures could dip into the mid-30s this weekend, but it does not look like temperatures will fall below freezing.

Other parts of the state, including Waco and Dallas, could get some ice, he said.

The Bryan-College Station area has received nearly 4 inches of rain since Monday. About 1 1/4 inches fell Wednesday.

The saturated ground appears to be the most likely cause of an uprooted tree in College Station that crashed down on two vehicles sometime Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Resident Adrian Lara said he came out of his house on Val Verde Drive on Wednesday morning to find the tree on top of his vehicles.

The tree, which Lara said was still alive when it fell, severely dented and broke windows out of a Chevrolet Tahoe. It also left a large dent in the top of the other car, he said.

Most of the tree had been chopped up and removed by Wednesday night and the sport-utility vehicle had been sent for repairs — including new shocks because of the tree’s weight, Lara said.

A man who cut the tree for him found signs of rot around the roots from their excessive exposure to water, which could have loosened the tree’s grip in the ground, Lara said.

A break in the rain Thursday could allow some land to begin drying, but after that, it may be days before blue skies return. Moreland said the Weather Service is predicting the rain could keep falling for most of the next week.

“ Some of the long-range models are suggesting we might get into a drier pattern,” he said. “We might get a break in the latter half of next week.”

• Christopher Ferrell’s e-mail address is cferrell@theeagle.com.

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