Despite Recent Rains, Drought Continues Hold On State

Jul 22, 2013

A smattering of summer showers is providing much-needed rain across much of Oklahoma, but nearly a third of the state remains locked in extreme drought.

Drought monitor map from July 16.
Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

The driest portion of the state includes major agricultural producing counties in western Oklahoma that has withered crops, dried up farm ponds and decimated cattle herds.

A wet spring and the summer rains across a large portion of central Oklahoma has alleviated drought conditions for nearly 25 percent of the state, a major improvement from a year ago when nearly the entire state was experiencing at least moderate drought.

But a report this week from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows more than 30 percent of Oklahoma — mostly the Panhandle and about 20 counties in western Oklahoma — still suffering from extreme to exceptional drought.