Friday, May 22, 2015

More Information on Recent Weather

For those interested, here is some great information from the Oklahoma state climatologist, Gary McManus, about our recent storms and their effect on drought and resevoir levels.  I think it's interesting and worth sharing.

A Momentous Drought Monitor Map!

When you have rainfall amounts like this

and this

and soil moisture maps like this

and a reservoir storage map that went from this

to this

is it any wonder that the U.S. Drought Monitor map for Oklahoma went from this

to this

in little over a month?

And what a momentous map that is (hence the title of the Ticker)! For the first
time since March 8, 2011, ZERO extreme or exceptional(D3 or D4) drought is
displayed within Oklahoma's borders.

That map from March 8, 2011, still shows a state with 82% depicted as having
at least moderate drought, but the difference is that was when this 2010-15
drought was just beginning to intensify. The current map shows a drought which
is dying, and dying rather rapidly.

Before March 8, 2011, the previous time Oklahoma was noted with at least extreme
drought was back on August 12, 2008, in the far western Panhandle. Let's hope
the wait this time is much longer for its return, although 3 years or so isn't

Now the worst map in the history of the Drought Monitor for Oklahoma, going by
the amount of extreme-exceptional drought, occurred on August 7, 2012, with
97% of the state in at least extreme drought. Ugh, what an ugly shade of red
(shout-out to my OSU partners...that's a freebie!).

Although I still believe the map from October 4, 2011, with 70% of the state in
EXCEPTIONAL drought was probably the drought at its peak.
Now, if you're still worried by drought, or by a low lake, or by going almost
two days without flooding rainfall...give it a minute. Help is on the way. If
not this week, then possibly the next.

Hey, we should have cake! Wet, soggy, water-logged cake.

Gary McManus
State Climatologist
Oklahoma Mesonet
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
(405) 325-2253 

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