Last updated: September 02. 2014 1:58PM - 447 Views
by Sue Hokanson, Quartz Mountain Nature Park sue@quartzmountain.org

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The calendar has been flipped over to September. Labor Day and summer are past. So it is a great time to pause, for a moment and look back over the summer.

2014 had an interesting summer-cool and wet. From May 1 to Aug. 31 Altus only had 22 days above 100 and no days above 106, according to Mesonet.org. Compare that to 2011 when August alone had 28 days over 100 and 8 days 110 and over. In July of 2011, every day-all 31 of them- were 100 degrees and above, with 5 days 110 degrees and above.

The rain comparisons are even more striking. In 2011, from May 1 to Aug. 31 Altus received 1.41 inches of rain. In 2014, Altus had only 0.73 inches of rain in August but the 3 months prior were all “above average”. May 4.24”, June 4.67” and July 7.2 inches of rain fell in Altus. The total rain for four months: 16.84 inches of rain.

All of that rain explains why Lake Altus-Lugert is only 0.25 inches lower Sept. 1 than it was on May 1. A net loss of a quarter of an inch for all four months of summer. That is amazing. Yes the lake is still very low slightly less than 11 percent full, and down over 30 feet, but it could have been much worse. Let’s hope we have a wet fall and a warm/ wet winter and maybe Lake Altus-Lugert could get above 30 percent full.

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