Drought Forecast: More Of The Same Despite Recent Rainfall

The latest forecast from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is out and it calls for Oklahoma’s drought to continue through March.  The forecast issued earlier this week shows the drought conditions improving in eastern Oklahoma, but persisting in central and western parts of the state.  Here is the drought outlook:

This forecast comes at a time when the drought has actually decreased across all of Oklahoma over the last 90 days thanks to a series of storm systems that have brought rain to the state.  Here is the latest Drought Monitor for Oklahoma:

The worst level of drought, exceptional, shown by the darkest red color, now only covers a portion of the panhandle, or about two percent of the state.  Just three months ago, nearly 69 percent of the state was in the exceptional category.  This clearly shows a trend of improving drought conditions in Oklahoma.

The short-term forecast calls for a good chance of more rain in the state early next week.  Here is the latest outlook on rainfall potential from the HPC from late Sunday through Monday night:

 An additional one to three inches of rain would keep the drought in full retreat, at least for the time being.

If one is to believe the forecast for the next few months, something in our pattern must change.  I was taught that weather is all about streaks.  We are currently on a wet streak that is great for Oklahoma.  Storm systems have been frequently visiting our state bringing their much-needed rain, and I don’t see why that would change any time soon.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to ride this pattern all the way into spring.

Rick

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