Governor Mary Fallin has declared a State of Emergency for all 77 Oklahoma counties due to the extreme or exceptional drought conditions around the state. The executive order will last for 30 days. This executive order will allow state agencies to make emergency purchases for disaster relief and preparedness. It is also the first step towards seeking federal assistance, if it should be needed.
This news comes as we are wrapping up a very hot July. Mesonet has the statewide average temperatures for the month, through yesterday, at 85.5. To compare that, last year was an average of 89.3 degrees in July. While this may make this year sound like nothing, we must remember, last summer was the hottest month for any state since records began in 1895. Mesonet shared the top-10 warmest Julys based on average maximum and minimum temperatures since 1895.
- 2011 89.3
- 1954 88.1
- 1980 87.4
- 1934 87.3
- 1998 85.9
- 1936 85.8
- 2001 85.7
- 1978 85.6
- 1901 85.3
- 1964 84.7
The other issue facing Oklahoma is the drought. It only takes a quick look out your window to see it’s dry out there. And Governor Fallin declaring a State of Emergency is another sign of just how dry it is.
“Precipitation-wise, we’re going to end up being somewhere in the top-20 probably, but that is deceiving since MOST Of the state has been dry as a bone. The statewide average through this morning was 1.11 inches, 1.54 inches below normal and the 15th driest since 1921. Those statistics will expand back to 1895 when we get to the end of the month. For Spencer, Waurika and Marshall, it has been THE driest July on record with 0.0 in the gauge. That’s good enough to get you put on double-secret probation in some places! Norman and Hollis show up as 0.0 but they actually received 0.02 inches and 0.03 inches, respectively.”- Mesonet
Mesonet goes on to say, as of right now it doesn’t look like we will be getting much in the way of rainfall anytime soon. This is bad news for all of us, especially struggling farmers.
“The drought comes on the heels of a wetter-than-normal spring, which benefited the Oklahoma wheat crop. That has helped cattle ranchers somewhat, allowing for some grazing, according to Schilberg. But he noted that the grass and forage are now dying due to the lack of rain, forcing him to buy hay.
“I’m feeding just like I would during the winter time,” Schilberg said.” –Huffington Post
The state has also been hit with several fires, including two burning right now. One fire is burning in Payne County and one in Canadian County. Currently 47 counties are under burn bans and that number is likely to rise as the drought continues.
How are you dealing with the heat and drought? Share your thoughts below or join the conversation on our Facebook page.