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Less than half of Oklahoma in drought

by Bryan Painter Modified: June 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm •  Published: June 21, 2013

“The summer of 2012 had a bit more moisture to work with through the winter and early spring. That might have made the difference in building 2011’s terrible heat.”

Too, there can be differences in the same summer depending on the region of the state. The summer of 2008 in the western Panhandle included blowing sand and little rainfall, McManus said. However, that same year, the summer in northeastern Oklahoma was one of the coolest and wettest on record.

“I think for most of central and eastern Oklahoma, a typical summer pattern can be dealt with with just the standard degree of misery that brings,” McManus said. “For western Oklahoma, however, the drought continues unabated for nearly three years and possibly longer if you include some of those flash droughts from the years before 2010.”

The dormant vegetation and lack of soil moisture already has created a mini heat wave in those areas to go along with the drying winds and sunshine. So those areas could be in trouble without further rains like some have received lately, he said.

by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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