Drought Continues its Retreat in OklahomaThu, 15 Aug 2013 11:11:39 CDT
According to this morning's release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, 67 percent of the state is now drought-free and 49 percent of the state is without even the “abnormally dry” rating. Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus says the state has not been in that good of shape since June 5, 2012.
McManus says there are still differences between last year and this year because the momentum in 2012 was towards developing drought. The current situation is completely the opposite, with drought on the run across the entire state. So even though only 11 percent of the state was in D2-D3 (Severe-Extreme) drought 14 months ago, the current percentage of 23 percent has a different connotation: more rain generally means less drought.
It has rained somewhere in the state every single day since July 13, and only a lack of rain anywhere on July 12 stopped that streak from going back to July 9. An important by-product of summer-time rains has also given it's aid to the drought blasting--the cooler than normal weather. According to statistics from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the statewide average for August thus far was 80.9 degrees, one degree below normal. However, the important statistic lies within that average, which takes the average of the maximum and minimum temperatures. The statewide average high temperature has been three degrees below normal and the normal low was a degree above normal. So, the state has been missing on those desiccating triple-digit temperatures for most of the month.
McManus said there is more good news in that it appears the rains are not over yet. He said maybe another half-inch to an inch will fall across western Oklahoma. The hope is, of course, that more rain will fall across southwestern Oklahoma, the hardest hit area of the state currently.
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