State Climatologist, Gary McManus says Oklahoma’s Best Bet for Rain is this Spring

Listen to KC Sheperd talk with Gary McManus about what to expect for Oklahoma weather.

KC Sheperd, Farm Director, is visiting with the State Climatologist of Oklahoma, Gary McManus, about what to expect in the weather for the next few months.

Parts of eastern Oklahoma have received rain this week, McManus said, but the rest of the state is still waiting on decent rainfall.

“What we have seen over the last 34 to 35 days, most of the state has gone consecutive days without at least a quarter an inch of rain or even a tenth of an inch of rain in a single day,” McManus said. “Unfortunately, most of the state is still continuing on that streak.”

Looking into the future, McManus said he sees some storm systems coming through. It is still uncertain how much moisture those will bring and how quickly they will travel through the state.

“Probably just a best bet to wait on spring to count on a good rainfall, unfortunately,” McManus said.

This year’s time period from December to January, McManus said, is the fourth driest since 1921. Although December to January is typically a dry time of year, being the fourth driest of that period on record is significant, especially dealing with long-term drought impacts in the background.

McManus compared this drought to the drought that occurred from 2010 to 2015.

 “The current drought we are in, of course, just like that drought back in 2010 through 2015, it was basically a five to six-year drought, started in the fall of 2010 and came out of it in the spring of 2015,” McManus said. “This one is just a baby compared to that one.”

Hopefully, McManus said, the current drought will break as we go into the spring.

“Even during drought periods, you can get these extreme events that lay down a lot of snow or a lot of rainfall,” McManus said. “We haven’t really seen that this year like we have the last few years, but again, it is dangerous to say it is going to stay that way as we are going into February or March in Oklahoma when some of our bigger snowfall events have occurred, especially recently.”

McManus said there is a possibility of light snow for northern Oklahoma and maybe even western Oklahoma coming up.

“Don’t give up hope if you want snow,” McManus said. “We still have a good month, or two left to maybe make that happen.”

Looking back to the weather last summer, McManus said he expects this coming summer to be hotter than usual.