Our Next Dust Bowl?

Yesterday, The Climate Prediction Center issued the weekly drought monitor, and it told us everything that we feared. That the drought was starting to get worse erasing the improvements that we had seen from our wet May. June, which is traditionally the 2nd wettest month of the year has turned out to be extremely dry. Will Rogers Airport has not even received an inch of rain and some areas in Western Oklahoma have yet to record a single drop of rain in the last 30 days. Check out the 30 day rainfall map from the Oklahoma Mesonet.

Many places in Northern Oklahoma and even a few select location in NW Oklahoma did receive a healthy inch of rain and even a little bit more here and there. But, the rainfall has been missed places like Guymon and Beckham and Roger Mills County. have only recorded a few tenths of an inch, if even that. So, how does this compare to The Dust Bowl? First off, this blog is only to talk about the lack of rain that we have seen which has lead to a drought which is approaching conditions during The Dust Bowl. It’s important to remember a few things here. The Dust Bowl was not just a long stretch of dry weather. The drought during this period saw short term improvements and the rains did come. There were extended periods during this time though that the drought was worse than others. Also, farming practices during this time were considerably different than they are now.

Anyways, so this is how the drought looks now for Oklahoma:

EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT conditions are now being reported across all of Western Oklahoma (see the brown color). An EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT is the worst of the drought and is exactly the type of drought that was going on during The Dust Bowl.

So, how could this be deemed as a drought worth mentioning in the same sentence as The Dust Bowl? It may not be there now, but we just went through our wettest time of the year without a drop of rain or hardly any rain in some areas. The likelihood of getting heavy rain now will likely rest solely of something tropical coming up here and dumping/flooding the regions that need rain the most.

The outlook until the end of September looks like this:

Basically, the drought will continue to persist from I-35 and west until the end of September. This is not to say that we won’t get rain, we’ll still see chances of rain ( I hope) roll in here. But, this will only give short term term relief to the drought with small impacts long term. Pray for something tropical.

-Damon

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