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Off to a good start

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This year's wetter winter could mean more rain this spring. Weather experts say the snow soaking into the ground really helps us for upcoming months.

NewsChannel 10 Meteorologist Allan Gwyn says, "When you have a wet winter, a lot of snows, a lot of rains, events like that tends to keep a lot more moisture in the ground and the overall effect is it helps to keep the dry line back off towards the West. Since the dry line helps to fire up showers and storms, it tends to increase our rain chances."

The increased moisture helps minimize impact on water supply. Gwyn says, "You get a lot of run off in the ravines that could actually benefit some of our lake levels around the area."

Amarillo Assistance Director of Utilities, Maintenance & Operations Floyd Hartman says, "Water flows from the snow melt into the playa lakes, also into the creeks and rivers. Water recharges into the aquifer very slowly, but it does."

Since there's less evaporation when temps are cooler, Hartman says, "It has a much more significant impact on soil moisture content than in the summer time when it's dry."

Heavy snow takes a long time to soak in. A lot of it doesn't run off allowing the moisture to get deeper into the ground helping the drought.

Amarillo National Weather Service Meteorologist in Charge José Garcia says, "We have had a lot more systems coming through. We've had a lot more moisture than what we've seen over the past several years. Being in drought conditions that really helps. All that moisture really helps the drought."

It also helps keep the more humid air across a larger part of the area reducing fire danger. Garcia says, "The wild fire situation has been very very bad the last few years. So with this moisture during the winter time, that's really helpful to keep the ground moist. Allow us to really green up when the Spring comes. And therefore, we won't have as much problems for wildfire situations."

Weather experts hope the weather pattern remains active so that we can go into a normal Spring with a lot of moisture.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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