Worst of Oklahoma Drought Ratings Cut in Half Since the First of April by Recent Rains- Latest MapsFri, 08 May 2015 05:48:35 CDT
Remarkable is a word for how quickly we are seeing the worst of the drought conditions get pushed out of the state of Oklahoma. The latest Drought Monitor was released Thursday morning, reflecting rainfall through Tuesday morning of this week- and it now shows that 17.94 percent of the state is in the two worst drought categories- extreme to exceptional drought. That's a reduction of more than TWENTY percentage points from the first week of April when we had 39.72 percent in the D3-D4 ratings.
Gary McManus, the Oklahoma State Climatologist, writes in his latest Mesonet Ticker "Now remember, that's using rainfall up through Tuesday morning, so the torrents
of the last couple of days won't count until next week. I think it's obvious we'll see a lot of drought disappear from central Oklahoma." The rainfall totals that McManus refers to can be seen in the rainfall map below.
And that is before the rains that are on the horizon show up for today, tomorrow and Sunday. The highest probabilities for more storms are for today and Saturday, based on this morning's forecast. The bottom graphic shows not only do we have strong rain chances for the weekend- but two other systems are lined up and waiting their turn next week- this courtesy of Jed Castles at News9 in Oklahoma City (this reflects rain chances in the Oklahoma City region of central and western Oklahoma)
Notice that this latest Drought Monitor shows that Moderate to Exceptional Drought(D1 through D4) is still hanging around over slightly more than half the state- at 59.04 percent- we have reduced the total drought numbers by almost ten percentage points compared to the last day of March- when it stood at 68.62 percent.
One of the impacts of the rains in April and now May- the rising water levels in Lake Altus Lugert. The low level mark in late March was just below ten percent of the Lake's capacity. As of early Friday morning- the water level in the Conservation pool for Altus Lugert had risen to past the one fourth full mark at 25.72 percent. Other major lakes in central and western Oklahoma are also rising as well.
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