Drought expected to grow across Oklahoma
Oklahoma climatologist Gary McManus says this week’s scorching summer weather is an indication that not only will the high temperatures continue to grow, but so will the state’s drought.
Writing in his Thursday Mesonet Update, McManus said, “All signs point towards more drought intensification and spread through the month. And the outlooks for late next week into the next show that same signal.”
There might be a slight break from the heat with the arrival of a few thunderstorms in the next few days.
But, as McManus added, “Make no mistake here, however. Those aren’t drought-ending rains. Heck, those would barely be drought-slow-down-just-a-tad rains.”
McManus said it takes a lot of rainfall to counteract the drought that has widened its grip on the state. He pointed out the drought surged across the state during the month of June.
“A mid-month bout with showers and storms managed to stem the flash drought’s intensification and spread with beneficial rains across northwestern Oklahoma. The respite was brief, however. Dry weather and intense heat returned by the end of the month and drought was again on the move to the south and east. Contained wholly within the western half of the state at the
end of May, drought had progressed to the state’s eastern border by the end of June.”
Drought coverage leapt from 14% of the state to 43% over that same period according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. That was the highest coverage of drought Oklahoma had seen since Aug. 14, 2018. Much of the western Panhandle was covered by extreme drought, and exceptional drought bled down from Kansas and
Colorado into far northern Cimarron and Texas counties.