The percentage of Oklahoma experiencing exceptional drought has increased, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday.
Overall, about 40 percent of the state is experiencing exceptional drought, the worst of the drought categories, the report shows. That is compared to 37 percent last week.
The most notable change was in the Panhandle. A week ago a portion of Cimarron County was in severe drought. Now the entire Panhandle is in extreme to exceptional drought. All of Beaver and Texas counties and the eastern one-third of Cimarron County is experiencing exceptional drought, the report shows.
Although portions of the state have received some rain this week, the cutoff for information for the U.S. Drought Monitor report information is Tuesday morning for Thursday's release, said Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.
This latest report shows Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, are the centerpiece of the drought.
More than 70 percent of Nebraska and 60 percent of Kansas are now in exceptional drought, the report indicates.
In Oklahoma, the statewide average for rainfall for May 1 going into Thursday was 7.97 inches. That is 7.65 inches below the norm. It is the driest such period in the state dating to 1921.