Drought and Abnormally Dry Conditions Return- Sneaking Into Little DixieFri, 14 Aug 2015 10:15:36 CDT
After weeks of no drought in Oklahoma, the drought has returned.
“It’s back barely in the far southeast corner of the state—southern McCurtain County,” explained Gary McManus, State Climatologist with the Oklahoma Mesonet. The newest drought area doesn’t make up much of the state, only 1.32 percent of the state. Nonetheless, it’s dry in southeast Oklahoma.
“This week with the continued lack of rainfall and also extreme temperatures down in that area, we went ahead and bumped that up to moderate drought which is the lowest drought category.”
Oklahoma had been without a drought category since May 26.
At the same time, the latest Drought Monitor showed a spreading area of abnormally dry conditions in the southeast and now 9 counties fall under the condition or 12.04 percent of the state.
“This is a drought spreading from the southern Arkla-Tex region, part of a larger pattern of a lack of rainfall,” explained McManus in the interview with OK Energy Today. “We look over the last 30 days and we see far southern and Southeastern Oklahoma has received in some cases no rainfall and in general less than a quarter inch of rainfall.”
But the conditions in McCurtain county in the last 30 days are the driest since at least 1921.
The rest of the state has had plenty of rainfall, even the Panhandle. While McCurtain County has been bone dry, Boise City in the far western reaches of the Panhandle has had narly 8 inches of rain in the past month.
Add the extreme heat in eastern Oklahoma to the lack of rainfall, and you have a drought. Talihina has had at least 14 days of 100-degree temperatures.
Still, if more rain doesn’t come soon, the Drought Monitor could change again.
“Some of those areas are starting to get a little bit dry again,” said McManus. “We’re getting a little bit concerned about southeast Oklahoma where they received no rainfall for so long so we went ahead and pulled the trigger down there.”
Radio Oklahoma Network News Director Jerry Bohnen talked with McManus about drought returning to the southeastern corner of the state. Listen to his comments by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.
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