It's little surprise, but another week of heat and generally dry weather has led to a much more colorful map on the Drought Monitor. While colorful, it's not a pretty picture with 99% of Oklahoma in some form of drought. For eastern Oklahoma, that drought ranges in intensity from moderate to extreme. See the attached map for the details. Only about 20% of the average rainfall has fallen over the past 30 days around Tulsa, which has contributed to the upgrade to severe drought.
The outlook for the drought is not all that great either. Whether you just want to keep your lawn green or your livelihood on the land is at stake, everyone is hoping we can find some relief. The only bit of good news I can share is that the "Death Ridge" we often see here during late July or August is not fully intact. Essentially, that dominating area of high pressure keeps away all rain and most clouds from the region. We have a weakness in the ridge in place through the weekend, which, combined with the heat and moisture in the atmosphere, could lead to a few scattered showers and thunderstorms. Widespread rainfall, the kind we need to chip away at the drought, is not anticipated. We can still hope that you receive a cooling shower to water your ground in the coming days.
The heat wave and drought will get worse before it gets better. The computer models bring the strong ridge out west and plop it on top of the Plains by next week. That will entirely cut off our rain chances for awhile and cause us to bake under that July sun each day. Temperatures will likely soar above the century mark nearly everyday next week. (Sorry! Just the messenger). There may be some relief towards the end of next week, but no dramatic pattern shift to give us the illusion that the worst of summer is over.