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Oklahoma’s Ongoing Drought Dampened But Not Drenched

Filed by KOSU News in State Impact.
April 5, 2013

NOAA/U.S. Department of Commerce

Oklahoma’s drought situation has improved, but it’s not over.

The state experienced greater than normal rainfall in February and March, which improved statewide drought conditions — a little. Most of the state, however, is still in “extreme drought,” according to monthly drought data from the Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

“Almost 53 percent of Oklahoma is classified in extreme drought, down from 62 percent one month ago,” OWRB spokesman Brian Vance says.

A few spots in western Oklahoma and the panhandle are still experiencing ‘exceptional’ drought, the most intense drought category.

Continued drought improvement is forecast for the eastern half of the state through the spring, but the west is where the news could be better. From the OWRB PDF:

“Overall, recent precipitation has had a significant positive impact on Oklahoma’s drought situation. However, more rain is needed, especially in the west. According to the latest Drought Outlook (April 4), improvement is forecast across eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and northeast Texas, but prospects for drought improvement decrease further southwest across the southern High Plains and south Texas.”

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