Heavy Rainfall Helps Ease Drought In Oklahoma, Southwest

Aug 8, 2014

A generous storm season has helped ease drought conditions in Oklahoma and the Southwest but parts of the hard-hit southern plains still have a long way to go. 

Credit U.S. Drought Monitor / U.S. Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday says between 2 and 6 inches of rain fell in storms last week across the plains of Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas and Texas, which have been stuck in a drought for nearly four years.

However, the report's author Brad Rippey says 73 percent of Oklahoma is still in some sort of drought conditions, with most of Tillman and Cotton counties in Southwest Oklahoma in exceptional drought - the most severe category. 

Heavy rain swept across Oklahoma and environs on July 30-31, resulting in modest reductions in drought intensity and coverage. A stripe of 2- to 6-inch rainfall totals stretched across southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, central and eastern Oklahoma, and northeastern Texas, with official, 2-day totals reaching 5.18 inches in McAlester, Oklahoma; 4.02 inches in Paris, Texas; and 2.18 inches in Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

Oklahoma’s topsoil moisture was rated 36% very short to short on August 3, an improvement from 47% the previous week. However, the effects of a multi-year drought were still apparent in the fact that, on August 3, subsoil moisture was rated 59% very short to short in Oklahoma, along with 52% in both Colorado and Kansas.

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