Drought on the Decline as Coverage Area in Oklahoma Reaches Lowest Level Since November '17Thu, 13 Sep 2018 11:28:12 CDT
Thanks to the deluge of recent rains across the state, drought in Oklahoma continues to trend downward this week, according to State Climatologist Gary McManus. He says the drought’s decline in some places is occurring rapidly, however, southwest Oklahoma and one centralized area covering Osage County in the northeast remain in the worst condition. As of Thursday’s Drought Monitor report release, only 17 percent of the state is currently affected by drought- the lowest coverage since the drought first began to develop in November of last year. McManus says more rain is needed to completely squash the remaining drought, which he also says is possible as there are some scattered chances for moisture in the extended forecast but the near future looks withholding.
Right now, though, planting conditions for farmers considering their fall crops has improved considerably with ample amounts of both top and subsoil moisture. However, McManus says we are in fact under worse conditions than we were last year and warns that an extended dry spell might threaten wither these favorable conditions being enjoyed currently. One bright spot however is that this will be an El Nino year as opposed to a La Nina, which bodes well for a wetter than normal cool season.
At present, abnormally dry conditions in the state are down from last week by 4 points at 39 percent; moderate drought conditions have fallen by 10 points now at 17 percent this week; the same is true for severe drought, down to only 6 percent and extreme conditions of drought are now less than one percent statewide with no indication of exceptional drought at all.
Check out this week’s Mesonet Ticker report here, or for a closer look at the Drought Monitor map released on Thursday, September 13, 2018, click here.
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