Wild Weather Takes Oklahoma from Drought to Flooding in 2015Thu, 20 Aug 2015 19:42:45 CDT
In every sense, 2015 has been a miracle year for Oklahoma. The state had been battling drought and it seemed like drought was on the menu for another summer, then from out of nowhere the rain arrived and the whole situation turned around. Oklahoma State University Mesonet Agricultural Coordinator Al Sutherland said the record rainfall in May into June took the state from drought to flooding in some locations.
“The good thing was it really pulled up the amount of moisture in our soils,” Sutherland said. “We filled that soil profile, then we had enough runoff that went in and filled the ponds, those filled, then we went onto fill the lakes up completely.”
Across the state, the rains have continued into July and August. With some hot, windy days, the summer crops have been taking up some of that moisture and that has dropped the amount of moisture available in the soil. Sutherland said soil moisture is really spotty, depending on the location. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report has drought starting to reappear in the southeast part of the state and pockets of dryness in the southern and north central part of the state. Sutherland said it’s hard to tell if that trend will continue with August predicted to be cooler and wetter than average.
The fall and winter outlook calls for El Nino. Sutherland said weather forecasters are predicting cooler temperatures and more moisture this winter, but it’s too early to determine when El Nino will arrive.
Radio Oklahoma Network’s Leslie Smith interviewed Sutherland at the Oklahoma Irrigation Conference Tuesday at Fort Cobb. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR below to listen to the full conversation.
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