Drought Continues to Plague Oklahoma After Nearly Four YearsThu, 25 Sep 2014 11:26:17 CDT
Oklahoma has been in drought going on nearly four years and the impact of the drought is not easing. According to the latest US Drought Monitor report the intensity of drought is worse this year than a year ago with 69 percent of the state is in drought. Last fall 49 percent of the state was experiencing drought.
As of Tuesday, the National Drought Mitigation Center reports 2.25 percent of the state is in exceptional drought (D4), 11.34 percent is in extreme drought (D3), 35.72 percent is in severe drought (D2), 19.79 percent is in moderate drought (D1) and 13.73 percent is abnormally dry. Only 17 percent of the state was not classified with a drought designation.
Oklahoma has seen some improvement in the most severe drought categories in the past three months, but the positive gains are starting to reverse. In the weekly Oklahoma Mesonet Ticker, State Climatologist Gary McManus said the statewide precipitation average since August first was 3.89 inches. That is 2.03 inches below normal and the 19th driest period from August 1 - September 25 since at least 1921.
Despite above normal precipitation in May, June into July, McManus compared 2014 to the significant drought years of 2000, 1956, and 1952. Since the start of the year, 2014 has been the 15th driest year since 1921 with precipitation 6.1 inches below normal. It's been the 11th driest year on record for west central Oklahoma.
Looking at the weather outlook, the News 9 Weather Team is predicting cooler temperatures and chances for precipitation next week. Precipitation is greatly needed as farmers plant canola and wheat in the coming weeks.
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