Drought Relief Continues Moving West Across OklahomaThu, 07 Aug 2014 16:28:36 CDT
Getting a wetter than normal summer is bringing drought relief to Oklahoma. The state's drought ratings were cut nearly in half in the most severe drought ratings over the last week, a culmination of the ongoing summer moisture. In the weekly US Drought Monitor report released Thursday, Oklahoma saw improvement in all drought categories with 2.63 percent in exceptional drought (D4), 16.74 is in extreme drought (D3), 48.08 is in severe (D2), 72.56 is in moderate (D1), 83.5 percent was abnormally dry and 16.5 percent did not receive a drought rating.
That's a vast improvement over the last three months when 28.85 percent was in exceptional drought, 48.86 percent in extreme, 65.94 in severe, 80.65 in moderate, 93.33 abnormally dry and 6.67 was not classified in a drought rating.
In the weekly Oklahoma Climatological Survey Mesonet Ticker, State Climatologist Gary McManus said most of the drought impacts we see now are longterm impacts, such as surface water deficits, deeper soil moisture deficits and ground water levels. The effect of the drought continues to linger across western Oklahoma where lakes are still below 50% of normal capacity.
Oklahoma has been dealing with deficits of 20-30 inches since the beginning of the drought in October 2010, and also from the beginning of this year. The state experienced a deficit of close to five inches from January one to August sixth, as the 19th driest since at least 1921. McManus said this is definitely a longterm drought impact needing a longterm drought remedy.
Looking at the weather outlook, CPC was still showing hints of cooler and wetter than normal weather 8-14 days weather outlook. McManus said if we can get that we'll keep drought at bay as we go through August.
The long term weather forecast shows the chances of getting a El Nino weather pattern is getting less certain. McMansus said the new ENSO (El Nino/Southern Oscillation) outlook from CPC now has the odds of an El Nino event forming for this cool season at around 65%, and the chances for a strong event are now very low. The CPC ENSO update said at this time the consensus of forecasters expect El Nino to emerge during August - October and to peak at weak strength during the late fall and early winter.
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