Drought Spreads Throughout NW Oklahoma and the Panhandle


The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows the drought is growing quickly in some areas of Oklahoma.

The most rapid growth has been seen in the Panhandle where parts of Cimarron and Texas counties where the extreme drought jumped from 0.18 last week to 3.17 percent this week. It also explains why one of the state’s deadly wildfires started in the Panhandle and spread into Kansas where a 39-year old truck driver died when he was overcome by the smoke.


At least 42% of the state is considered to be in a severe drought. That’s a jump from about 29% last week. The area covers north central and northwestern Oklahoma, site of massive wildfires.

The moderate drought category includes about 74% of Oklahoma, about a one percent increase. Ninety percent of the state is considered to be abnormally dry.

While the dry conditions naturally affect farmers and ranchers, it also applies to oil and gas operators who use pond water for drilling purposes. When the ponds are down or dry, that means the cost of transporting adequate water to the well site goes up.

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