By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman residents looking for dry days to mow yards may think spring rains are coming frequently, but experts say those rains are less than central Oklahoma needs to pull itself out of the three-year-long drought.
Lake Thunderbird’s conservation pool still is down five feet, and Norman remains on mandatory water conservation.
“We continue to monitor water consumption on a daily basis,” City Manager Steve Lewis said. “We are pleased that our usage has been less than it was during the same time period a year ago, but we are waiting to see whether Lake Thunderbird will recover to historical spring levels.”
Norman received less than an inch of rain this week, according to John Pike, National Weather Service spokesman.
“May is supposed to be our wettest month,” said John Harrington, Water Resources Division director for the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments. “We need a good May to make up for the deficits that we are still seeing from last summer. But, instead, what we have to show for the first half of May is a measly 1.43 inches statewide, 1.22 inches below normal. That’s the 26th driest May 1-16 since 1921.”
Western Oklahoma is suffering the most, Harrington reported.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s forecast for June predicts below-normal rainfall for most of Oklahoma.
On a more positive note, soil moisture in Cleveland County has improved at measurements of 24 inches, according to the Mesonet Daily Averaged Fractional Water Index.