Exceptional Drought Conditions Expand Across Oklahoma

Thursday, August 16th 2012, 10:47 am
By: News On 6

Drought conditions continue to worsen and expand across Oklahoma. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor report released on Thursday shows exceptional drought -- the worst possible category -- covering most of western Oklahoma and a swath of northeastern Oklahoma. Counties in Green Country include Tulsa, Creek, Pawnee, Okmulgee, Muskogee, Wagoner, Cherokee, Adair, Delaware and Ottawa counties.

Neighboring Payne and Noble counties are also in exceptional drought status.

U.S. Drought Monitor map for Oklahoma

The area covered by exceptional drought increased from over 16 percent to almost 39 percent.

Nearly all other areas of the state are in extreme drought -- the exceptions being severe drought in small parts of southeastern Oklahoma and the Panhandle.

The report is released each Thursday and is based on an analysis of conditions reported through Tuesday.

Read Alan Crone's Thursday morning weather update

Temperatures Thursday are expected to hit 100 degrees in the Tulsa metro. There is a 60 percent chance of showers across the area, and meteorologist Alan Crone said rain should hit the metro area during the afternoon hours.

"I think the best timing is this afternoon between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. for the Tulsa metro, [and] around the 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. hour across far southern sections of our viewing area," Crone said.

Temperatures near Tulsa are expected to cool to mid-80s over the next three days, with rain chances for the weekend at 50 percent.

Tulsa has received .39 of an inch of rain in August, which is about an inch below normal, according to the National Weather Service.

Oklahoma Mesonet reports that portions of Tulsa County have gone 27 straight days with less than .10 of an inch of rain.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.