According to Drought Monitor, as of Jan. 22 the entire state of Oklahoma was in a drought. That shouldn’t come to the surprise of anyone. However, were you aware that the severity of drought ranged from D2 to D4? What does D2 or D4 mean?
The Drought Monitor has a scale from D0 (Abnormally Dry) – D4 (Exceptional). One hundred percent of the state was between D2 and D4, with only a small fraction (8.2%) in the D2 (Severe Drought) category. However, 91.8% of the state was in Extreme Drought (D3) and 39.58% was in the highest level D4 (Exceptional Drought). Want to see the data?
The Drought Monitor can easily be accessed by logging onto www.climate.ok.gov, or by scanning the QR code seen here. Click on the “Climate” tab on the top and then find “Drought & Wildfire” along the left. But an even better site is the National Weather Service’s “Precipitation and Drought Information for Oklahoma and North Texas”. They have a loop of the Drought Monitors January through December 2012. You can actually see the drought intensify right before your eyes.
On that same page, much further down, is a graphic that illustrates how much rain is needed to break the drought. As of Sunday Jan. 27, Southwest Oklahoma needed all the “normal” precipitation PLUS six to nine more inches of rain. That would be between 7.5 to 10.5 inches of rain needed by March 1 to end the drought before spring arrives.
With February only having 28 days, between 0.25 and 0.36 inches of rain would have to fall every day of the month. That is a lot of rain!