Portales gets brief showers

Janet Bresenham

By the time some long-awaited rainfall finally soaked the area Saturday afternoon and evening, it did its best to make up for lost time.
While Portales received only a light rain Saturday, the National Weather Service radar in Albuquerque showed that the northeast part of Roosevelt County got inundated with up to 3 inches of rainfall, according to NWS meteorologist Geoffrey Bogorad.
However, the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Department reported no accidents or flooding from the thunderstorm.
Battalion Chief Darwin Chenault of the Portales Fire Department said the city only received about a half-inch of rain Saturday.
“It rained a bit for just a little while,” Chenault said. “There was just a touch of hail, but nothing big. It was just a nice rain.”
Parts of Clovis, Curry County and northeastern Roosevelt County spent most of the latter part of the day under a flash flood warning from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, Bogorad said.
“It’s going to be a wet weekend,” Bogorad said. “Our radar is showing anywhere from a third of an inch of rain to 3 inches in most of Curry County. The heaviest rainfall was just north of Clovis, where between 2 and 4 inches fell.”
The speed with which the rain fell made for some temporarily treacherous driving conditions, with local street flooding. But area law enforcement agencies said they did not have any reports of weather-related traffic accidents.
“A good estimate is that between 1 to 2 inches of rain fell in about a 30-minute period, which probably caused the flooding,” Bogorad said.
Along busy roadways full of holiday traffic, some Memorial Day travelers thought it best to wait out the heaviest portion of the storm early Saturday evening.
“It got pretty nasty for awhile, especially for about 10-20 minutes there,” said Edgar Aguillon, a sales associate at the Town and Country Food Store No. 150 in Texico along U.S. 60/70/84.
“We had quite a few people pull into the parking lot near the gas pumps,” Aguillon said. “There have been a lot of truckers on the highway, and they stopped during the storm, too.”
Over in Parmer and Bailey counties, hail was more of a problem rather than flooding.
“We had a lot of hail in that area,” said John Lipe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lubbock. “There was a lot of marble hail in Muleshoe itself. But just west of Muleshoe, we had reports of hail up to 2 inches in diameter.”
By Saturday night, however, the weather situation appeared to have settled down, at least for a little while.
“Right now, everything has calmed down and it’s just sprinkling,” a Parmer County dispatcher said. “We haven’t had any road problems or accidents.”
The outlook for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend calls for more chances for rain, according to the National Weather Service.
“It’s probably going to be another repeat Sunday in the late afternoon and evening, but the rain shouldn’t be as heavy,” Bogorad said. “Then for Monday, it should be about a 30-40 percent chance of rain.”