Rain, Rain, don't go away!

Amarillo saw seven inches of rain from January to December in 2011. As of Sunday, nearly five inches of rain have fallen since the beginning of 2012.

The National Weather Service reported 4.7 inches of rain Sunday evening, and more is expected to fall in the coming week. Compared to last year, this amount of moisture is significant.

"By this point, we'd only had two-thirds of an inch of rain and it wasn't until late in the summer or early fall before we really kind of started to see rainfall in the order of a couple inches," National Weather Service Meteorologist Intern Nicholas Fenner stated.

Fenner added the recent rain is all in thanks to normal weather patterns, which could do wonders for the Panhandle should they continue.

"We're kind of just at a normal pattern of weather events with the storm systems coming through every couple of days, you know, every week or so," Fenner said. "Whereas last year, we had La Nina in place and that really just kept all the moisture from getting into the Texas Panhandle."

But is this moisture enough to break Amarillo and surrounding areas of the worse drought in Texas history? According to Fenner, the rain has helped a lot already and will continue to slowly but surely bring the area closer to leaving the drought behind.

"I believe we are still in the order of six to nine inches of precipitation that we would need over the next several months to be out of that long-term drought. With the help of the recent rainfall over the last several months, we're certainly out of a short-term drought here in the Panhandle."

Other areas around Amarillo have seen even more rain. In the northeastern part of the Panhandle, Borger has already gotten 150 percent of the normal rainfall for this time of year.

"Our rainfall over the last few weeks and months has been sort of spotty," Fenner pointed out. "So, kind of periods of dryness and wetness in all the locations around the Texas Panhandle. So we might have, say, to our west, areas that are a little bit dryer."

After what was experienced last year, every drop counts. The cloudy skies across the Panhandle have people hoping and praying for more to come.