The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 29, 2012

State drought has worsened in 2012

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— Drought conditions for most of the state have worsened over the past two years, and signs are there will be no relief into spring of next year.

News Channel 5 Meteo-rologist Danielle Dozier said more than a third of the state was in an exceptional drought condition.

“As of Christmas Day, we had 37 percent of the state in exceptional drought, which is the worst on the drought scale,” she said. “Much of that was confined to northern Oklahoma, including the Enid area.”

During the week of Dec. 27, 2011, only a small portion of the state was under such severe conditions.

“Only 3 percent of the state was in an exceptional drought,” Dozier said, “and it was only in the Panhandle. In 2010, the percentage was zero.”

Climate data doesn’t give much hope for a wetter winter.

“Over the next several months, it looks like the drought will persist or intensify,” Dozier said.

She said climate data shows the likelihood of above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation for the winter. El Niño and La Niña cycles never developed.

“We were hoping, or looking for, an El Niño phase to develop for winter and it never happened,” Dozier said. “Instead, we saw a neutral phase.”

According to the Oklahoma Mesonet site located three miles southeast of Breckinridge, 2012 saw the highest recorded temperature at the site since it was commissioned Jan. 1, 1994. The temperature on Aug. 1, 2012, was 112 degrees at the site.

The year with the most rainfall recorded at the site was 1999, with 50.1 inches, according to Mesonet data.

The most rainfall recorded at the site was 4.55 inches on June 9, 1999. The maximum monthly rainfall recorded was 12.81 inches in June 2007.