Oklahoma Drought Situation Showing ImprovementThu, 17 Jul 2014 15:15:09 CDT
The latest US Drought Monitor Report shows drought is lessening across Oklahoma. The latest report shows drought categories across the state have dropped by one to as much as three percent. Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus says the latest map released Thursday morning recognizes the rainfall that has fell through Tuesday morning, so there will be likely more improvement made in next week's report.
The latest precipitation shows nice precipitation across much of the southwest two-thirds of the state with Altus receiving 4.69 inches. McManus says Altus has been in the D4 -exceptional drought rating for nearly the long period in the state. This week Altus moved out of the red and improved to a D2 classification of severe drought.
According to the Mesonet, rainfall for July 1 through Thursday morning shows a statewide average of 2.12 inches. That's .62 inches above normal, making this the 24th wettest since at least 1921. The Panhandle remains dry with an average of 1.07 inches, which is .37 inches below normal. This same time frame makes this the 35th driest for the region.
Since May Oklahoma has seen more precipitation than normal. Since May 21 Oklahoma has received a statewide average of 9.61 inches. That's 2.14 inches above normal, making this the 17th wettest from May 21 through July 17th since 1921.
The wetter than normal weather has also brought cooler than normal temperatures. This week several areas reached record lows. Buffalo had a low of 64 degrees on Wednesday, breaking a 1953 record. This was 16 degrees below the previous record set 61 years ago. McAlester broke their daily record with a low 58 degrees Thursday. More records look to be broken with the unseasonably cool weather. McManus anticipates the state to break records that have been held since the 1880's.
To see more of Gary's comments in his latest Mesonet Ticker, Click Here.
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