By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
Brandi Richardson, National Weather Service in Shreveport Senior Meteorologist, told the Jimplecute this week Marion County can expect more rain.
“Another wet 10 days are coming,” Richardson said.
The forecast for additional precipitation is for more than the next couple of weeks.
The NWS has made a seasonal outlook for the next three months of above normal rainfall, as well as above normal temperatures.
“They are issuing El Niño advisories,” Richardson said of the weather pattern. “We are in a weak El Niño, currently. They are thinking it will continue through the summer of 2019.”
In the Jimplecute’s semi-annual look at local weather trends, Richardson predicted last fall heavier than normal precipitation this winter. If you think this area has already received a lot of rain, you are right.
According to Richardson, Marion County has received 24.62 inches of rain as of May 6. That is 33 percent higher than the 16 inch average that is normal. Last year, Marion County received 21.03 inches during the same months.
April was the wettest month this year so far and had 8.44 inches of rain. The average monthly rainfall for Jefferson in the spring is about 4 inches per month.
“I can comfortably say, we are well ahead of average,” Richardson said.
LOCAL EVENTS AFFECTED
Residents may recall how the second weekend of the Candlelight Tour of Homes was rained out in December, the motorcycle races were rained out, the WOJO Rabbit Run was rained out and last weekend’s Pilgrimage and the Battle for Jefferson were impacted.
Re-enactment organizers say, however, the weather failed to dampen spirits.
“Despite the weather we had a pretty successful event,” Wes Hamilton said.
Some out-of-town re-enactors chose not to come this year.
“Participation was not as large as normal,” Hamilton said. “A lot of people from out of town were real cautious.”
Hamilton noted, however, 600-700 spectators watched the “battle” on Saturday with another 300-400 on Sunday.
“We were pleased,” Hamilton said.
IMPACT ON LAKES
Walt Sears, Jr., executive director of Northeast Texas Municipal Water District, said Lake O’ the Pines is more than eight feet above the desired lake level and that Caddo Lake should reach flood stage this week.
“We are in a wet episode that will impact the water elevations in Lake O’ the Pines for at least the next two months,” Sears said.
Last week, more water entered Lake O’ the Pines than left it. Today, there is about 191,818 acre feet in the flood pool at Lake O’ the Pines.
“That is enough water to about fill Lake Bob Sandlin from empty,” Sears said. “That is a lot of water.”
The Lake O’ the Pines elevation is slightly above 237.2 feet which is 8.76 feet above the water supply top. It is using about 1/3 of its flood storage.
Lake O’ the Pines is on maximum release (3000 c.f.s.). When the water elevation is 236 or higher, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) releases 3,000 c.f.s. According to the release program of the USACE, the release will remain at near maximum until the lake’s elevation recedes to below 236.
“With only 3,000 c.f.s. being released, it will take weeks for the elevation to recede to near normal elevations even assuming modest to little rainfall,” Sears said.
With the reported flow into Caddo Lake exceeding 10,000 c.f.s., the majority of the water entering into Caddo Lake is not coming from Lake O’ the Pines. Little Cypress and Black Cypress feed into Cypress Bayou below the Lake O’ the Pines dam to boost the flow into Caddo.
The impact from the heavy rains is felt downstream.
“Red River in Shreveport is less than 1 foot away from flood stage,” Sears said.
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