Forecasters Call for Widespread Heavy Rains Across OklahomaWed, 21 May 2014 12:09:13 CDT
Weather forecasters are calling for good chances of from two to three inches of rain across the entire state of Oklahoma between now and next Wednesday. (See forecast map, above.)
Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus says these seven-day rain forecasts have been notoriously inaccurate so far this year, but this one appears different. He says the forecast is calling for a slow-moving upper-level storm to set up over the Four Corners area which will pump Gulf moisture into the region. That will interact with surface and mid-level features producing heavy rains.
It has been a long time since many areas of the region have received significant rainfall. The Oklahoma Mesonet reports it has been 214 days since Slapout has had a quarter-inch of rain in a single day. Kenton is not much better at 201. And some of the central Oklahoma stations are above the 40- to 50-day range as well, with Shawnee up to 55 days.
The last 30 days, normally one of the wettest times of the year, have been pitiful, McManus says. The Oklahoma Panhandle climate division has only had 0.06" of rain on average over the last 30 days. That's two percent of normal. He says central Oklahoma is not that much better with 0.79 inches which is 3.24 inches below normal at this time of year. (See map below.)
The Panhandle, north central, northeast, and central Oklahoma are all at their driest Jan 1-May 20 periods since 1921, and the west central parts of the state arenít much better with their second-driest year on record. That adds up to the 2nd driest statewide average since 1921 at 5.57 inches, nearly 7.5 inches below normal.
McManus says that, historically, the next four weeks are usually the wettest four weeks of the year.
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