Oklahoma Residents Hope More Winter Weather Will Ease Drought

Thursday, February 21st 2013, 5:46 pm
By: Craig Day

While our winter weather has been a hassle for some drivers, the snow and ice are welcome after two years of drought.

In Osage County, ice covered the trees and some of the power lines were coated Thursday. Some roads were still slushy after a day of snow.

It's a picturesque winter setting we haven't seen for far too long, according to Don Wells.

"It's wonderful, we can use a lot more of it," Wells said.

It's a welcome winter sight, because our area hasn't seen weather like this in two years and we've had way below normal rainfall.

"I've seen some droughts, but last year was as dry as I've seen it," Wells said.

That's a considerable time span, considering he'll turn 85 in a couple of weeks.

2/20/2013 Related Story: Wednesday's Snow Will Help Oklahoma's Drought Status

Nicole McGavock is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

"When we have snow sitting on the ground like we do now, it will slowly melt into the soil, and it will help to replenish that soil moisture, and that's very beneficial to agricultural purposes," McGavock said.

While McGavock said the snow has helped, we still need more moisture. Since last April, we've only had one month with above normal precipitation.

She said six to 10 inches of rain over several days, would go a long way toward getting us back to where we need to be.

"Going into the spring, this is our rainier time of year, and hopefully we'll see some activity to help us improve the drought," McGavock said.

Wells doesn't like to just see the ground covered. He said would like to see much more, and so would many ranchers across Oklahoma.

"They all say it's about as bad as it's ever been," Wells said.

Considering we were about 12 inches below on rainfall for last year, many would like to see even more winter weather. And it could happen. Some of Oklahoma's largest snowfall totals have come in late February and early March.