US Drought Monitor: Western Oklahoma Suffering From 'Exceptional Drought'
OKLAHOMA CITY - The U.S. Drought Monitor says about half of Oklahoma is experiencing drought conditions and that western Oklahoma is experiencing exceptional drought.
The report developed by climatologists, forecasters and others says almost all the western half of the state, including the Oklahoma Panhandle, is abnormally dry or worse. Almost 650,000 people live in areas of the state affected by drought conditions.
More than 23 percent of the state is in exceptional drought, the driest category. More than 34 percent of the state is in extreme drought or worse while about 42 percent is in severe drought or worse.
Drought has been blamed for a decline in the state's wheat harvest. The Oklahoma Wheat Commission estimates farmers will harvest about 36 percent less wheat this year than they did a year ago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.