It has been awhile since Oklahoma has heard good news, as far as our drought is concerned but today there is good news. After all of the snow and rainfall the state received so far this year, we are finally seeing improvements in drought conditions.
Just a month ago 100% of the state was in a severe drought or worse, 92.14% of the state was in an extreme drought or worse, with 39.58% in an exceptional drought. Today, 100% is still in a severe drought or worse, but the rest of the numbers have seen a lot of improvement! Now just 61.65% of the state is still in an extreme drought or worse and only 11.80% is in an exceptional drought.
While the state is still in a water crisis and the situation must still be taken very seriously, we have seen improvement in water levels in many lakes across the state. Some lakes are even back to normal levels. Though some, like Altus-Legert are still dangerously low, it currently is 27 feet below normal. We have a long way to go to get out of the drought but the past two months have shown some promise.
The snow has also been helpful, though one foot of snow only equals one inch of rain. Preliminary snowfall totals for the month of February are 42.5 inches in the town of Arnett. That would break the previous single-month snowfall amount in a single location in Oklahoma record, which was 39.5 inches from Buffalo in February, 1971.
The statewide average rainfall is up to 2.99 inches, which would be the 12th wettest on record. The 8-14 day forecast also shows above normal rainfall, which would farther help the state. The rain is coming just in time for many farmers that are getting ready to plant and will be very helpful for the state.
Current outlook for March is pretty good, showing normal rainfall with above normal temperatures. The April-June forecast however is not as promising as it is predicting below normal rainfall for much of the state. Above normal temperatures are also predicted. Looks like we will need all of the rain we can get before this summer as it could be another hot and dry one.
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