US Drought Monitor Shows Drought Expanding in OklahomaThu, 20 Nov 2014 16:48:13 CST
Drought expanded this past week in Oklahoma. The latest US Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows 82 percent of the state remains in drought. That's up five percent over last week. The latest report has 6.56 percent of the state in exceptional drought (D4), the highest level of drought rating, 15.01 in extreme drought (D3), 25.61 in severe drought (D2), 17.24 in moderate drought (D1) and 17.71 under abnormally dry conditions. At this time only 17.88 percent of the state is out of drought. A week ago 22.43 percent of the state was not given a drought rating.
Northeastern Oklahoma has received the largest amount of relief from the drought as the region is no longer receiving a drought rating. Drought remains the most intense in south western Oklahoma with five counties under the exceptional drought rating. Neighboring counties are in extreme drought. Across the northwestern part of the state and in the Panhandle there is a patch work of areas in extreme drought, along with moderate to severe drought levels. In Oklahoma 1.9 million people are still effected by the ongoing drought.
The Climate Prediction Center released their winter forecast and it showed increased odds for below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation for most of the state. In the weekly Mesonet Ticker report, State Climatogist Gary McManus responded by saying December is one of Oklahoma's driest months of the year, so he does not think that will necessarily mean the state will be substantially wetter. McManus continues to watch the impact of El Nino. At this point he thinks this will be another winter like last year where there was cold air incursions from the north into the eastern half of the U.S and the west was under lots of ridges of high pressure.
The Climate Prediction Center released their outlook for drought for November through February 2015. The CPC shows drought persisting or intensifying across the western half of Oklahoma, western Kansas and eastern Colorado. The drought looks to make some improvement in California but intensfying in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. Drought removal is likely across the southern US states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Georgia. In the coming months drought looks to develop in Hawaii, Michigan and parts of the northwest.
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