Rain brings much-needed moisture across West Texas

An “unusual” weather system that brought welcome relief from baking temperatures and parched conditions may stick around a day or two longer, officials say.Crossroads residents have been sighing in relief the past few days because of the system, which has slashed temperatures and brought some much-needed precipitation to the area.National Weather Service Meteorologist David Henrig said the cause of all this welcome weather is an upper-level low pressure system that's slowly making its way through this area.“”it's unusual in that it formed well off to the east and is moving west through the West Texas area,” he said. “Usually, systems move west to east in this region.”Because of its unusual movement, the system is drawing significant amounts of Gulf moisture into this area, he added.“Not only is it raining, but we're getting good amounts of rain,” he said. “There's the possibility of 2 to 3 inches of precipitation in some areas … it pretty much rained all day from Big Lake up to Gail (Tuesday).”NWS reports between 1 and 2 inches or rain fell in various spots in Howard County Tuesday, with even more expected today.All that moisture also has brought a welcome break from typical scorching July heat.“We'll continue to have rain and clouds (Wednesday) and that will reinforce the cooler temperatures,” Henrig said. “This will continue until Thursday, when we'll see clouds breaking up and things heating up again.”Because of all the residual moisture in the area, however, the warming trend will be gradual — Henrig doesn't anticipate the return of typical mid-summer temperatures until the middle of next week.The forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of rainfall through today, dropping to 50 percent tonight and 20 percent Thursday.