Holiday Snow Will Offer Little Reprieve For Green Country Drought Conditions

Sunday, December 23rd 2012, 9:52 pm
By: News On 6

All the snow could be a headache for travelers, but Green Country sure needs any moisture it can get.

Almost any water supply manager or rancher you talk to will say the same thing.

"We're very worried," Lone Chimney Lake Operations Manager Paul Kinder said. "This is a critical situation."

"It's virtually almost desert conditions," rancher Doug Hentges said. "We've jokingly laugh that we've moved to Arizona."

Oklahoma is in an extreme drought and nearly anywhere you go it's visible.

Lake Eucha is down 14 feet from its usual water level.

And Lone Chimney Water Association said its supply for about 16,000 customers in Pawnee County is in danger of drying up.

"We have eight towns in jeopardy of being out of water which includes also two hospitals and three schools," Kinder said.

News On 6 Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer is predicting a Christmas snowfall for most of Green Country.

12/23/2012 Related Story: Christmas Day Snowfall Expected In Oklahoma

But is this enough moisture to help relieve the drought?

"This storm system, along with a series of other storm systems that are going to be coming through, will give us a little reprieve, but by that I mean little," Meyer said.

Meyer said to fix these conditions, Green Country needs a change in the atmosphere, which isn't happening any time soon.

"Probably the biggest thing in the winter is it's always dry and what snow you get doesn't mean much," Meyer said. "I mean you can get 10 inches of snow, but that's only one inch of water."

The area also needs a lot of rain.

"What we need is an extended period of heavy precipitation and it can't come all at once," Meyer said.

The dry conditions are affecting Meyer first-hand since he's a rancher at heart.

This is all the water he has left in one of his ponds.

"Everybody is extremely stressed out because if you don't have the water, you have to sell your cattle," Meyer said.

Meyer said the area needs to see a real spring in Oklahoma with lots of rain to help reverse the drought.

Otherwise, it will be year three of extremely dry conditions.

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