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Drought Improvement Could Come to a Screeching Halt, McManus Says

Thu, 22 Aug 2013 12:09:42 CDT

Drought Improvement Could Come to a Screeching Halt, McManus Says

This week’s improvement in the Drought Monitor map might be the last improvements Oklahomans see unless we get some rain soon, says Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus. The state did see an increase in the amount of the state where no drought or dry conditions are prevalent, 54 percent compared to last week’s 49 percent.

The biggest improvements occurred in western Oklahoma where the D0 level was erased and where the extreme D3 drought area in Roger Mills and Beckham counties was dropped to severe D2 drought.   

Unfortunately, last week saw the re-emergence of Exceptional D4 drought in the far southwest, contained almost completely by Tillman County.   If you look at the rains we've had since mid-July, that remains an area that has gone without the higher totals to the north and east. The southeast has also become primed for drought intensification, where less than 3 inches has fallen since the summer rains began back in early July.

So while overall the state has had an average of 8.11 inches since July 9, more than 4 inches above normal (4th wettest July 9-August 22 since 1921), those areas down south have seen below normal rainfall. The prospects for the coming weeks are not looking great so far, but that can change in a hurry.


Drought Improvement Could Come to a Screeching Halt, McManus Says


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