Drought Monitor Report Shows 40% of Oklahoma is Facing Extreme DroughtThu, 06 Jan 2022 20:38:43 CST
According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report, in what has become a familiar pattern, heavy precipitation continued to improve drought and dryness across the northern half of the West Coast States. Parts of the Rockies - primarily the higher elevations - also reported moderate to heavy precipitation. Most of the Plains reported little or no precipitation. Unseasonably warm and dry weather for several weeks prompted fairly broad areas of deterioration in the southern Plains.
With data ranging from Dec. 28, 2021, to Jan. 4, 2022, deterioration was recorded in the central and western portions of Texas and Oklahoma. Most of central and western Texas, the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and central Oklahoma have recorded 25% of normal precipitation or less for the past 60 days.
In the High Plains, it was a dry week east of the Rockies, and even across Colorado and Wyoming, moderate to heavy precipitation was limited to the higher elevations. This was sufficient to prompt some improvement in western Colorado and a small section in northwestern Wyoming. The eastern portions of abnormally dry to moderate drought areas in North Dakota were also improved based on a re-assessment of reduced impacts from earlier precipitation. Meanwhile, southern Kansas saw some deterioration near Oklahoma, where the last 60 days brought very little precipitation. But given it is the coldest and climatologically driest time of year here, deterioration was limited to a patch in the southernmost reaches of Kansas where the weather has been somewhat warmer. Central Wyoming also saw worsening conditions where little or no precipitation fell during the last 60 days.
In the West, heavy precipitation and a generous snowpack in mountainous areas led to more improvement, based in part on monthly statistics for December. Improvement was brought into large swaths of the region, especially across central Montana, much of Idaho and Utah, western Nevada and part of central and southern California. It was a wet week with 2 to 6 inches of precipitation reported from the Cascades westward to the coast in the Pacific Northwest and adjacent parts of California. Thus, further reducing dryness and drought in areas where such conditions have already been removed. Some areas in California already received more precipitation in the last 3 months than they had in the prior 12 months.
To view the Contiguous U.S. Drought Map, click here.
Looking ahead, some recently-expanded areas of dryness and drought near the Gulf Coast could benefit from light rain in the forecast. Amounts potentially topping 1.5 inches are expected in the northeastern Texas Coast. Heavy precipitation and some heavy snows should continue to whittle away at dryness and drought in the Pacific Northwest, although it will probably bring a different set of problems. Areas west of the Washington Cascades will be most significantly impacted, with most locations recording several inches of precipitation. Several areas extending from the Idaho Panhandle and adjacent areas southeastward into central Colorado will also see moderate precipitation, especially in the Idaho Panhandle and higher elevations in Wyoming and Colorado. Other parts of the 48-states will see much less precipitation. Near-normal temperatures will cover the Northeast and the Middle Atlantic States while unseasonable warmth prevails along the southern tier of the country and in the Four Corners Region.
Jan. 10 through Jan. 15, favors subnormal precipitation across most of the contiguous U.S., with odds favoring above-normal precipitation limited to a swath from the southern Rockies to the Lower Mississippi Valley. Meanwhile, above-normal temperatures are favored near the Gulf Coast, the Plains, most of the Rockies, and the immediate West Coast.
To view the 6 - 10 Day Precipitation Outlook, click here.
To view the 6 - 10 Day Temperature Outlook, click here.
According to the Monthly Drought Outlook map, drought’s hold on the Pacific Northwest continues to dwindle and expand into northern California, and eastward to northern Utah and western Montana and Wyoming. The adverse is true for the western Great Plains, including nearly all of Texas and Oklahoma.
To view the Monthly Drought Outlook map, click here.
Extreme drought continued to move west in Oklahoma as conditions deteriorate. According to the Mesonet, most of the western half of the state has received less than 1 inch of rain in the last 60 days. As of Jan. 4, 2022, 94% of the state is experiencing abnormally dry conditions or worse. Forty percent of the state is experiencing extreme drought. Thirty-one percent of the state is experiencing severe drought. Fifteen percent of the state is experiencing moderate drought. Six percent of the state is experiencing abnormal dryness. Five percent of the state is not categorized as abnormally dry or worse.
The 6-to-10-day precipitation outlook map shows Oklahoma is likely to receive normal precipitation levels. The 6-to-10-day temperature outlook map shows higher-than-normal temperatures are very likely.
To view the Oklahoma drought map, click here.
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