What a difference a rain makes.
Just when the stock ponds had dried up, wildlife was invading yards looking for food and water and even the state climatologist predicted drought lasting for a year or more longer, the rains finally came last weekend.
It wasn't enough to end the drought, but it was a start.
Meteorologists called it a “heavy rain event.” Almost overnight, the Paluxy River went from one extreme to the other. Bone dry on Friday, by Sunday afternoon Big Rocks Park looked like a swirling blender of foaming chocolate milk.
Visitors and residents flocked to the River Walk, Big Rocks and the Paluxy River bridges to watch. A lone kayaker bobbed in the waves near the Inn on the River and at Big Rocks Park.
Rainfall totals for the 36-hour period from 7 a.m. Saturday until 7 p.m. Sunday were 5.58 inches for Glen Rose. To the west, Stephenville reported 5.78 inches, while Comanche recorded the most in the region with 8.35 inches.
After discussing conditions with Dwayne Griffin, the county's fire marshal and emergency management coordinator, the Commissioners Court decided to lift the countywide burn ban until Oct. 23. That should give residents enough time to burn brush piles that have been lying around for months.
"This is the window," said County Judge Mike Ford. "But that fuel (dead trees, branches and grass) is still there" on the ground and dry conditions may return.
The Keetch-Byram Drought Index that the Texas Forest Service uses to gauge fire danger also has undergone a transformation in the north central Texas area. What used to be a solid mass of yellow and red on the map, indicating the highest indexes of 600 to 700 and 700 to 800, now is a mass of blues and greens, which means low fire danger.
In Somervell County, drought indexes range from the lowest level to a moderate range of 300 to 400. During the summer the county’s index was the highest, between 700 and 800.
The forecast for the rest of the week is sunny and warm with highs near 90.