Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

State News

July 19, 2012

Drought intensifying in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahomans are bracing for another hot, dry summer as the drought in the state intensifies and forecasters say triple-digit heat with little chance of rain is to continue.

The U.S. Drought Monitor, released Thursday, shows the Oklahoma Panhandle, northwestern Oklahoma and far southeastern Oklahoma in extreme drought. Severe drought was reported from southwestern across northern and into east-central sections.

“It’s exactly what we worried about when we entered the summer months, when we saw the precipitation start to drop off at the end of April,” said associate state climatologist Gary McManus.

The conditions are also raising fears of wildfires in the state. Thirty of the state’s 77 counties have declared burn bans, with Oklahoma County joining the list Thursday.

“One of the problems is we did have all that rain early in the spring,” McManus said. “We didn’t think of it as a problem at the time, but that allowed the vegetation to grow really quickly and become lush.”

The vegetation is now drying out and becomes fuel for any fire that starts, he said.

Chances for rain to ease the conditions are slim, said forecaster Daryl Williams with the National Weather Service in Norman. Temperatures of 100 degrees or more are possible through the middle of next week.

“As far as any reasonable chance of rain to ease the heat, it’s just not in the cards for the next several days,” Williams said.

The heat and drought come on the heels of the summer of 2011 in which Oklahoma set the U.S. record for the highest monthly average temperature — 89.1 degrees — according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

The average summer temperature — 86.5 degrees — was the hottest in Oklahoma history. And Grandfield claimed the record for having 101 days with 100-degree or higher heat, smashing the previous record, 86, set in Hollis in 1956.

Summer 2012 does not appear in line to break those records, Williams said.

“Last year we just had unrelenting hot and dry conditions. We didn’t have the rains we had this spring. That was the mark of last summer: We got hot early and stayed hot all summer long,” according to Williams.

“We’ve had breaks here and there with rain this year.”

Megan Freedman of Midwest City takes a practical approach to the conditions.

“I stay inside, and wear sunscreen when I have to go outside. Hey, at least it’s not as hot as it was last year,” Freedman said.

Kanda Ramos of Oklahoma City said she is unable to escape the heat.

“My house will not stay cool, I’m paying double on my electric bill,” Ramos said.

“I’m not happy.”

 

1
Text Only
State News
Business Marquee

e-Edition
  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.

     

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE E-EDITION SITE

     

    ATTENTION CURRENT DEMOCRAT SUBSCRIBERS TO START an e-EDITION

    e-mail request to sjohnson@pvdemocrat.com

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Stocks
Facebook