By Steve Hansen
QCS Managing Editor
Five days of rain have left Quay County with reported rainfall of up to five inches in various places in the county, according to Leonard Lauriault, superintendent of the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Experiment Station in Tucumcari.
The National Weather Service’s readings show a 1.85-inch total for five days of storms from Thursday afternoon to Monday, but Lauriault said totals were “sporadic” around the county.
Rainfall was enough to allow the Arch Hurley Conservancy District to cut off water flow from Conchas Lake on Saturday, according to Franklin McCasland, district manager. The water will flow again when enough orders come in to create a flow of 40 cubic feet per second, McCasland said.
Five days of storms have raised Conchas Lake’s elevation by a foot and a half, McCasland said, to 4,176.8 feet above sea level. Over the district’s area, he said, the five-day total average two or three inches of rain.
At Ute Lake, the level rose by 2.5 feet, from 3,775.9 feet above sea level to 3,778.4 feet above sea level from Thursday to Tuesday, according to figures from the state Parks Department.
Lauriault said the rainfall significantly improves the prospects for wheat, sorghum, haygrazer crops planted now. In addition, he said, the combination of new rainfall and soil temperatures above 65 dgrees could enhance propects for the first cotton crop in 10 years in the area. Lauriault said he is planting cotton at the experimental station.
Rain may return to Quay County as early as Thursday. There will be a 20 percent chance of rain from Thursday through Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.