Monday Rain Just a Drop in the Drought Bucket

Apr 21, 2014

More than half an inch of rain has fallen in Tulsa in the last 24 hours, but drought is still a concern.

State Climatologist Gary McManus said it takes a long time to get into a drought, and it takes a long time to get out of one.

"Whenever we have six to nine months of low precipitation totals, those one or two rainfalls that we start to get in the spring aren't really enough to nudge us out of drought just yet, but they certainly help," McManus said. 

Parts of southern Oklahoma got more than two inches of rain and northern Okmulgee County got nearly two inches in 24 hours, but western Oklahoma is where drought is most severe. Most of that region got less than half an inch of rain.

McManus said residents of eastern Oklahoma have a much different perception of drought.

"They've seen two to three really good periods of relief over the last three and a half years, whereas in western Oklahoma, especially far western Oklahoma, they haven't seen much relief at all," McManus said.

The area of Oklahoma under the most severe category of drought nearly doubled in the last year, and it’s all west of Oklahoma City. Some reservoirs are at 10 percent of normal levels.