AT A GLANCE
Drought worsens in Oklahoma
A bad drought situation only worsened in the past week in Oklahoma.
The U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday morning shows 97 percent of Oklahoma in the extreme to exceptional drought categories. That is the highest such coverage for the state since the Drought Monitor effort began in 2000, said Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.
There are four categories of drought severity: moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional.
Last week, 72 percent of the state fell in the extreme to exceptional range. Three months ago, in early May, only 3 percent of Oklahoma fell in those categories.
On the U.S. Drought Monitor map, the exceptional category now has the look of a twister, from the top in the Panhandle to the tip that extends into central Oklahoma, including most of Canadian and Cleveland counties, southwest Oklahoma County and northeast McClain County.
Last week, 5 percent of Oklahoma was in the exceptional drought category. This week, 16 percent of the state is in the worst of the U.S. Drought Monitor's categories.