Good news, bad news - that is the situation we are faced with today.
First the good news; that is the drought monitor which was released today, as seen on the first image, has shown considerable improvement from where we were back in April, which is the second image.
Of course, the heavy rains of recent weeks, as enumerated in yesterday's blog, were responsible for mitigating the drought impacts we have been dealing with since the fall of 2010. Given those recent heavy rains, the associated flooding, the soggy soils, and how green everything is, you may be wondering why there is any drought at all.
Well, the answer lies in the fact that drought has short-term impacts related to surface soil moisture and the effect on vegetation, and long-term impacts related to reservoir and ground water recharge. That, perhaps, is best illustrated by the lake level map generated by the OK Water Resources Board.
The first one shows conditions in March and the second one shows conditions today. Quite a change and a lot of improvement is showing up, but there are still some lakes that have a long way to go to get full, and, therefore, the long-term impacts of the drought are still evident and still need to be alleviated before the drought can be considered to be completely eradicated.
Now for the bad news, as you can see on the forecast page, flood watches have again been posted for much of the state as another round of showers/storms with locally heavy rainfall will be an issue through the holiday weekend.
Notice the 7-day QPF map which has the state in the bulls-eye with the potential for flooding rains once again. Most of that is expected to occur over the course of the weekend, primarily during the Sat/Sun time frame the way things look right now.
Showers will once again be spreading this way from the west during the day Friday, but most of those should be relatively light. However, the cloudy skies and showers will keep us cool again, with highs only in the 60s after starting the day in the 50s. A more widespread, heavier rain event with embedded storms will be more likely late Saturday through the day Sunday, and that is the most likely time for flooding rains to occur.
After that, the pattern should be changing somewhat, as the rain chances will be dropping off going into next week. But, there will still be opportunities for at least some scattered showers/storms on just about any given day.
It is just that the widespread, heaviest rains and their impacts for this weekend will be replaced by a more widely scattered pattern that could still produce some localized issues.
Not only that, but there will also be at least a slight chance of a few severe storms during the Sat/Sun time frame, but flooding continues to be the major concern the way things stand now.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.