State drought breaking‘Dust Bowl’ records


Rapid ‘Explosion’

  • U.S. Drought Monitor - Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Mesonet reports the state’s drought is rapidly growing and is working its way from the Panhandle to northwest parts and approaching central Oklahoma.

Some records dating back to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s have been broken by the lack of rainfall, and one expert calls it a “drought explosion.”

State Climatologist Gary McManus says the drought is rapidly expanding and intensifying and seeping into Blaine and Kingfisher counties.

“We have long-term drought in the far western Panhandle that has been persisting since the middle of last fall,” McManus wrote in an update on June 18. “It has been 173 days since Boise City has received a significant one-day rainfall event,” and the Cimarron County town has received a mere 2.4 inches of rain since Oct 1 last year, McManus reported.

“Many of those areas from the Oklahoma-Texas border area in west central Oklahoma through central Oklahoma have seen record low rain amounts since April 1,” McManus added.

“To go back to the 1930s and beat Dust Bowl records is catastrophic,” he said.

The latest drought monitor shows half of the state has “abnormally” dry conditions and 40% is in a “moderate” drought. At least 15% of Oklahoma is under a “severe” drought, while more than 4% has “extreme” drought conditions.