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Record Dryness Across the State.

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So disappointed. The data leading up to yesterday's rainfall event was supportive of more rain over a more widespread area than actually fell. Some locations did end up with a good soaking and even some localized flooding, but for most it did not amount to much more than enough to settle the dust. Notice the first map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, for the statewide rainfall amounts for this most recent event.

Again, the rains were certainly welcome for most of us, but have really not helped much over the long haul. Notice the second map on the right which shows the rainfall totals across the state since the beginning of the year. On a statewide basis, this is the second driest start to a calendar year on record; not a good start considering this is falling on the heels of the dryness of the last several years. More specifically, for here in NE OK, this is the driest start to a calendar year on record according to data maintained by the good folks at the OK Mesonet. The ‘official' records here in Tulsa have this as the second driest start to a calendar year as we are almost 7.5" below normal in precipitation.

The third map on the right, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet, shows the percentage of normal precipitation received so far. Even the wetter SE counties are still below normal in precipitation up to this point in the year.

What is somewhat surprising is how cool we have also been so far for the year. On a monthly basis, Jan-Apr were each well below normal with respect to temperatures. Typically we would associate cooler weather with more cloud cover and more precipitation, but that has not been the case this year. Having said that, the month of May up to this point is running well above normal although this recent cool-down will bring those numbers down over the rest of this week.

Look for temperatures to be well below normal until the latter part of the weekend and going into next week. Northerly winds and clouds have certainly kept temperatures down today and that will be the case again for the next few days. Morning lows will be in the 40s again tonight and for the next several nights as well. Daytime highs will be in the 60s again Wed, may make it to near 70 on Thu, and only in the low 70s by Friday and Saturday. We should be back into the 80s by early next week along with a return to gusty southerly winds. Near 80 during the day is normal for this time of year.

As far as additional rainfall is concerned, there will be a chance tonight and to start the day Wednesday, but most of that will be SE of I-44. A slow moving upper level disturbance will also provide slight chances for Thu-Sat, but anything that falls during those time frames should be relatively light and will really not help much. Not only that, but as mentioned yesterday the outlook for the following week strongly suggests warmer and drier than normal conditions which is not a good sign. Remember, May is normally our wettest month of the year and we need to get our soil moisture replenished and the ponds/lakes filled up before summer gets into full swing.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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