The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

August 15, 2013

Improved: Weeks of rainfall put a big dent in drought

Significant rainfall the past couple of weeks has improved the drought situation in northwest Oklahoma.

Most of Garfield County is now drought-free, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map. The northwest corner of the county and area along the line with Grant County is listed as abnormally dry.

Grant, Alfalfa and Woods counties, which last week were mostly listed in severe drought, the third-worst category, now are listed as mostly abnormally dry. The northwest part of Woods County is listed in moderate drought.

The western half of Major County now is listed in moderate drought, while the eastern half is mostly abnormally dry, with the southeast corner drought-free. Last week, most of Major County was listed in severe drought.

Woodward County, which last week was mostly listed in extreme drought — the second-worst category — now is split between moderate and severe drought.

The situation has dramatically improved over last year. In the Aug. 14, 2012, U.S. Drought Monitor report, most of Garfield County was listed in extreme drought, the second-worst category. The rest of northwest Oklahoma was split between extreme and exceptional drought, the worst category. All of Oklahoma, except for a small part of the Panhandle and the southeast along the border with Texas, was listed in extreme and exceptional drought last year.

This week, only a small section of Texas County in the Panhandle is listed in exceptional drought.

Through Wednesday, the Mesonet weather-reporting site at Breckinridge has recorded 2.08 inches of rain this month. By way of comparison, the site in August 2012 recorded only 1.22 inches of rain all month.

Other Mesonet rain totals for August this year are: Lahoma, 3.06 inches; Alva, 5.54 inches; Cherokee, 4.53 inches; Fairview, 3.63 inches; Kingfisher, 3.22 inches; Medford, 4.83 inches; Seiling, 3.07 inches; Watonga, 3.03 inches; and Woodward, 3.43 inches.

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