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Agricultural News


Summer Rain Pattern May Spell End to Drought, McManus Says

Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:25:12 CDT

Summer Rain Pattern May Spell End to Drought, McManus Says
Late July and early August rains have been very welcome over large portions of Oklahoma. Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus says that trend will continue and parts of the state may see more rain in the next few days as a cool front sags southward out of Kansas. He says the best chances are along the Oklahoma-Kansas border.

Early models are forecasting up to a couple of inches, which would be extremely beneficial. McManus says several similar forecasts earlier have come up dry, so producers aren't holding their breaths, but they are hopeful.

"The last two summers have been pretty devoid of rainfall. The summer of 2011 was, of course, the hottest summer on record for any state since records began in 1895. Last year was no picnic either. It really got hot when the rains shut off in early spring. So, having all this rainfall, not just through July but also from April and May really set the stage to give us a much different experience.

"Now, again, that's for the eastern two-thirds of the state.   For the western third and up in the Panhandle, I'm afraid they're still suffering from the same type of summer as 2011 and 2012. But, for the bulk of the state, this is a vastly different experience. You can just go outside and look at how green it is and tell how different it's been."

McManus said the extended forecast appears to favor a continued pattern of drought relief at least for the eastern two-thirds of the state.   Forecasts for the western and Panhandle regions, however, don't paint such an optimistic picture.

"As long as Canton Lake is still sitting at about 20 percent of normal and Lake Altus-Lugert is now down to about 13.6 percent of normal, I'm afraid those areas are just going to have to deal with it until they get the types of rains we've seen over the eastern two-thirds of the state."

With the soil moisture situation nearly normal in many areas, McManus says normal fall rains would make for a very nice planting situation.


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Ron Hays talks with Gary McManus about the effect of late July and early August rains.
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