What Did The Rain Mean?

At about noon, the sky was littered with cumulus clouds, and shortly after, the best thing to happen to OKC finally did, and that was rain! But, what did the rain mean? Rain will always be a good thing, but what did it do to our drought?

Locally, it may have improved but from a widespread standpoint, the drought did not improve one bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the rain, but the heavy rain was isolated and when the next drought monitor is issued, I highly doubt we will see any improvement. As of last Thursday, this is how the drought looked:

Western Oklahoma continues to see the worst of the drought with EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT conditions being reported. For OKC, the drought has worsened over the past 2 weeks with SEVERE DROUGHT conditons reported across Oklahoma County and EXTREME DROUGHT conditions in Southern Cleveland County. So, how much rain would it take to bring the soil moisture to full capacity?

The above graphic is the KEETCH-BRYAM INDEX for Oklahoma which is a measure of rainfall necessary to return the soil to full capacity. It ranges on a scale of 0-8 with 0 meaning that the soil is saturated and 8 meaning that 8 inches of rain is necessary for saturation. In most cases, red on a weather map is usually not a good sign and this clearly shows that with most of Oklahoma needing 5-8 inches of widespread rain just to see a major improvement in the drought. Of course, 3 inches in 1 or 2 days would help with putting moisture back in the soil, but 8 inches at least would be necessary just to put enough water to notice in the area lakes and to ease the water restrictions. 8 inches within a month that is. 8 inches over the rest of the year would not help out one bit. So, how fast do we need to see this rain fall?  Again if we can put down a few inches over the state within the next 4 weeks, I would be content. 8 inches within a month, even better! 8 inches within 6 months… NO GOOD!



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