Oklahoma Ends 2012 With 95 Percent Extreme to Exceptional DroughtThu, 27 Dec 2012 10:29:12 CST
Oklahoma will ring in 2013 with 37% of the state covered by Exceptional (D4) drought, up 3% from last week and 34% from this time last year. The amount of Extreme (D3) to Exceptional drought is also up slightly from last week to 95%. That matches the extent from the height of the current back in September. Just over 27% of the state was in Extreme to Exceptional Drought at the beginning of calendar year 2012. You can see the latest Drought Monitor for Oklahoma in the graphic above.
The good news is that the state was just blanketed with snow, which should provide a nice dose of moisture for those folks that got a bit more. The Mesonet rainfall map is a bit slow on the amounts, since it only measures liquid moisture (and therefore the snow has to melt before it will register). The radar estimated overlay, however, shows that much of southern Oklahoma received from a quarter-inch to more than two inches of liquid equivalent from the snow (much of it fell as rain down in the southeast).
The expansion of Exceptional drought into Pawnee and Creek counties comes amid news that Lone Chimney lake, an important water supply reservoir for 16,000 area residents, is dangerously dry. Our colleague Craig Day produced a story about this situation and you can see it by clicking on the play button in the video box below.
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The year is probably going to end with an average somewhere around 25 inches, much like 2011 did, which will be good for somewhere around the 10th driest year on record (back to 1895) ... 2011 currently holds that place with 25.23 inches. The last two calendar years combined will end as one of the driest such periods on record (probably top five). The Mesonet total map since January 1, 2011, tells the gruesome story. The Hooker Mesonet site has recorded 19 inches of rain in the last 24 months. By anyone's standard, that's dry.
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