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Drought in Oklahoma.

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Nationwide Drought Monitor. Nationwide Drought Monitor.

Drought…..that is usually something we are more concerned about during the summer months when the lack of moisture is more evident. However, the winter months are our driest months of the year anyway so as we go into the rest of the winter with a moisture deficit already in place, that just sets the stage for what could be a difficult Spring and Summer. Notice, for example, the drought map on the right which shows widespread moderate to extreme drought already occurring across much of the south and it is spreading into Oklahoma. We are more than 8" below our normal annual rainfall here in Tulsa, so we can certainly use some moisture.

We do have a decent shot at some rain during the overnight hours tonight and into the day on Wednesday, but most of that will likely be more to our SE. Rainfall totals for the more SE counties could approach an inch for some locations, but most of us will be lucky to get ¼ inch or so. Those showers will be quickly moving on eastward with the showers pretty much over by late morning or early afternoon.

The clouds together with gusty southerly winds will keep temperatures very mild for tonight through Thursday with overnight lows in the 40s tonight and the 50s for Wed night and Thu night. Gusty southerly winds, particularly on Thursday will result in an enhanced fire danger situation as well.

Thursday night into Friday morning will see our next shot at some showers and possibly even some thunder. A strong cold front will be moving through during the morning hours followed by falling temperatures for the afternoon and evening. The rain will have ended by the time temperatures fall below freezing so no travel issues are anticipated.

New Years Day will then be cloudy and cold with a brisk northerly wind and temperatures struggling to get above freezing. The lingering cloud cover could also produce a few, brief snow flurries, but no accumulation and no travel issues are anticipated.

Sunday will also be quite cold, but that will be followed by another moderating trend that should extend well into the following week. At this time, we still do not see much in the way of a significant rain or snow maker coming our way anytime soon, so the drought situation will continue to strengthen.

As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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