Extreme Heat Contributing To 'Flash Drought' In Oklahoma - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Extreme Heat Contributing To 'Flash Drought' In Oklahoma

Posted: Updated:
File photo. File photo.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

It was announced Wednesday that now half of the counties in the United States have been declared disaster areas due to drought.

So, while Oklahoma is not alone in suffering through drought, News on 6 meteorologist Mike Grogan said our extreme high temperatures are contributing to a "flash drought," which is adding insult to injury.

He said "flash drought" is a term used to describe the acceleration of drought due to extreme heat.

"Within a week, extreme drought went from covering 50% of Oklahoma to 71% of the state," Grogan said.

Grogan said Thursday's high temperature was getting very close to setting a long-standing record high.

"In the 1950s and, of course, the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, we had similar, remarkable heat waves. Our all-time record high of 115 degrees was set back in the Dust Bowl (August 10, 1936)," Grogan said.

And that heat is having an intense adverse effect on our drought and making wildfires all the more dangerous and likely.

"Topsoil has been all but entirely depleted of moisture and vegetation has shriveled, wilted, and yellowed in a big hurry," Grogan said. "That's why fires are so dangerous and Burn Bans encompass the entire region. There's a lot of dry fuel for fires and the heat makes fighting them a nightmare."

But Grogan said relief is on the way. He's forecasting a cold front for this weekend, which might not make it exactly comfortable outside, but it should bring the high temperatures back down to double digits.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality also issued another ozone watch for areas of northeast Oklahoma for Thursday. People with asthma or breathing problems are instructed to avoid prolonged periods of exertion outdoors.

For more information on how this summer's potentially record breaking heat is intensifying the drought conditions, check out Mike Grogan's blog.

Also, for more complete extreme weather and drought coverage, click on our Weather 101 page.

Special Features

Community Calendar

Find out what's going on around town and submit events!

Share

See it! Shoot it! Send it! Share your weather pics and videos with NewsOn6.com!

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive
Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
TULSA'S OWN TM
GREEN COUNTRY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.