Oklahoma Drought: Going From Bad To Worse

The Oklahoma Climate Survey puts out a very informative blog called the Mesonet Ticker, written by the Associate State Climatologist, Gary McManus.  Today’s entry dealt with the drought that has been in place across Oklahoma for the last several months.  Here’s some of what was discussed.

The latest information shows the drought severity is increasing, with parts of southwest Oklahoma being classified as an “extreme drought”, the red color on the map.  The “severe drought” category (orange color) continues in central Oklahoma, and has now spread into the southeast, and also parts of the panhandle.  You see that there is only one category higher than extreme drought, and that is exceptional drought.  Thankfully no place in Oklahoma is classified as that….yet.

Forecasts from the Climate Prediction Center for April through June are rather gloomy in that they keep the drought persisting during that time in Oklahoma, and actually increasing in other parts of the southern Plains:

With some forecasts of La Nina continuing for the next couple of months, above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for Oklahoma are a real possibility into June.  However, that is not a slam dunk.  Others believe La Nina will wane quickly, and that could lead to more favorable conditions for rainfall. 

The bottom line is that long-range forecasting is still not to the point that we can fully trust it.  Right now, the best we can hope for is a pattern  to develop that will be favorable for thunderstorms that can ease this drought.  Praying for rain won’t hurt either.

Rick

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