Drought Intensifies in NW Oklahoma Where Hopes Are High for Weekend Rain Relief


While the weekend forecast called for possible rain, northwest Oklahoma’s drought is growing.

The Oklahoma Mesonet reports the far northwest and the eastern parts of the Panhandle are in the worst category, “Exceptional Drought.”  More than 8 percent of the state fits into the classification compared to zero just three months ago.

From the southwest northward to and including the Panhandle, the area is under an Extreme Drought. Nearly 35% of the state falls under the category compared to just one percent three months ago.

An estimated 42% of the state is under a “severe” drought. About 48% is classified as “moderate” and 62% is under “abnormally” dry conditions.

However, 38% of Oklahoma has no drought or dry conditions. Those counties are in central and southeastern Oklahoma. Some parts of the southeast received up to 11 inches of rainfall in the past several weeks.

Gary McManus, State Climatologist with the Oklahoma Mesonet is hoping for the rain.

“If we’re not careful, we’re going to end up with one of our driest Marches on record,” he wrote in Friday’s Mesonet update. “Through today, we’re dealing with the 3rd driest March 1-22 since at least 1921.”