In early October 2011, 70 percent of Oklahoma was in exceptional drought. But above-normal rainfall started soon after, leaving about 85 percent of the state drought-free by April 24, 2012.
“We have seen true recovery of lakes and ponds in those areas with the most rainfall. But as you go to the west of I-35, the lake levels dwindle to pretty sad shape,” McManus said. “So the easy answer is it gets worse the farther west you go.”
“If we go into June with drought in place, those driest areas should be prepared for a scorcher, and also further drought intensification,” he said.
The good news is there are no signs of a dry spring, he said.
“That's not a prediction of a continued wet spring, but it gives us more confidence than if a drier-than-normal spring was being forecast.”
Rain is in the forecast for parts of the state Friday, according to the National Weather Service, Norman forecast office.
A wide swath of the Plains — from South Dakota through Nebraska and western Kansas, to New Mexico and parts of Texas — remains extremely dry.
The weekly drought report is a project of the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.