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Agricultural News

State Climatologist Gary McManus Says Spring is here, but We Could Still See a Freeze

Tue, 29 Mar 2022 12:31:46 CDT

State Climatologist Gary McManus Says Spring is here, but We Could Still See a Freeze Spring in Oklahoma can bring several challenges to producers, including high winds, storms, severe weather, and wildfire danger.

Farm Director KC Sheperd spoke with State Climatologist Gary McManus. He said this year's Spring in Oklahoma will be no different, as this is when we see the gamut of Oklahoma hazards. "We start with the wind and fire danger (which we had yesterday and will have again today). Then we get the storms as the cold front catches up with the dryline, and then we might have a little snow after as that cold air funnels down."

Even though we've seen some above-average temps the past few weeks in the state, McManus says there's still a possibility of snow and a hard freeze in the weeks to come, "Our Average last freeze for spring is usually the first week of April. When we figure out those averages, that comes with a range, later into April to the earlier end of march, so it depends on where you end up that year." McManus echoed that in the next seven days, the forecast does show some colder temps for the next few days "Freezes can happen well into April in Oklahoma."

The weather experts say that Oklahoma's tornado season typically begins in late April and runs through June, but it varies based on the year. McManus said now is the time to start cleaning out your storm shelters and being prepared. High Winds are always a possibility in Oklahoma, so he says it's essential to clear the brush around your property and make some good fire breaks as fire danger is always a possibility.

With most of the state in stages of drought, McManus says we are in LaNina year, which tends to bring us warmer and dryer weather. The deficit throughout the state picked up steam last fall when we saw warmer than average temps. McManus says LaNina is expected to continue through the summer months, "Due to Lanina's presence and its continued presence possibly into the summer; we are expecting April, May, June to still be above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation."

Several areas of the state received rain last week, but A "drought buster" rain is what we all need. Still, McManus says those are pretty hard to come by, "When you are dealing with deficits that go all the way back to August of 1" inch to 5-7" inches of rainfall, depending on what part of the state you are in is really not going to end the drought. You are trying to replenish all that soil moisture from the topsoil down to the root zone, and last week's rainfall, while it helped the top few inches of soil, it's tough to get that to soak down and end that drought completely."

The drought across Oklahoma continues, but McManus says there are some rain opportunities as we get into April, but as we all know, the forecast can change rapidly, but he's hopeful, "Springtime is always a time for hope when it comes to drought in Oklahoma because that is our rainy season, so we always have a pretty good chance of at least getting some moisture in here to calm things down before we get into the summer months."

To see more weather calculations from Gary McManus, you can subscribe to his daily Mesonet ticker here:

To hear KC'scomplete conversation with Gary McManus, click or tap below.


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