Late July Rains Significantly Improve Drought Conditions, While August Brings Mixed ExpectationsThu, 02 Aug 2018 12:28:01 CDT
Oklahoma received some drought-quenching rains this past week as we closed the books on July, significantly improving conditions across the state. This has certainly help to offset some of the dramatic heatwaves seen prior. State Climatologist Gary McManus reports that Oklahoma experienced multiple instances of record-breaking temperatures statewide.
The heaviest rains fell across far northern Oklahoma and localized areas in the east. Twenty-Two Mesonet sites reported at least 4 inches of rain, with Pryor leading the state at 6.09 inches. Not all sections of the state were so fortunate, however. Significant deficits remained along the Red River as well as portions of north central Oklahoma.
Despite the late relief during July, McManus reports that the U.S. Drought Monitor ended the month with 55 percent of the state in drought, and another 12 percent considered “abnormally dry,” a drought precursor. Thirty-Two percent of the state is in at least “severe” drought, and 7 percent labeled “extreme.” Extreme drought dropped 5 percent since the end of June, but severe drought increased 9 percent.
According to McManus, drought is expected to persist or intensify along the Red River and in the far western Panhandle during August. Other areas that were in drought at the end of July can expect improvement by the end of August.
Click here for a closer look at this week’s Drought Monitor map, or click here to review the latest Mesonet Ticker report.
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