The Norman Transcript

State/Region

February 17, 2013

Snow does little to offset Okla. drought

OKLAHOMA CITY — Recent snowfall of 5 to 6 inches in parts of western Oklahoma and lighter amounts in the remainder of the state did little to alleviate ongoing drought conditions, according to a state climatologist.

Still, any moisture is giving hope to wheat farmers as the crop emerges in advance of a harvest that typically begins in June.

“We do have some improvement, both from the rain and the snow,” said David Gammill, who has about 1,300 acres of wheat planted near Grandfield in southwestern Oklahoma, one of the areas hardest hit by drought. “There was from a half inch to .9 rain in the area. It has perked the wheat up considerably in the area.”

Cattlemen, however, “are still in dire need of water” for dry ponds, Gammill said.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows 87 percent of Oklahoma in extreme or exceptional drought, the two most severe categories, with exceptional drought continuing in the western third of the state and across the northern tier of counties, an area making up nearly 40 percent of Oklahoma. Counties along the far eastern border were in severe drought, the drought monitor reported.

While the snow and the rain that preceded it will not end the drought, it is a good start to the year and gives hope for more late winter and spring moisture, said associate state climatologist Gary McManus.

“It certainly gets the ball rolling on getting that soil moisture replenished, when it (snow) falls it sits in one place and percolates into the ground,” McManus said. “It’s just not enough to end the drought.”

McManus noted that the National Weather Service has forecast a 50 percent to 70 percent chance for more rain across the state for next Wednesday and Thursday.

“We start to need those reinforcing rainfalls, or snowfall, whatever it takes,” McManus said.

Gammill said continuing rainfall would be just the tonic for western Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.

“It doesn’t take much up heat to use up the amount of moisture we got,” he said.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Survivors observe 19th anniversary

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Survivors, rescue workers and the family members of victims of the Oklahoma City bombing have observed the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attack....

    April 20, 2014

  • State budget talks center on cuts

    OKLAHOMA CITY — With six weeks left in the 2014 session, behind-the-scenes negotiations among the House, Senate and governor’s office are ramping up on how to plug a $188 million hole in the budget and fund programs for education, public ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose measure

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature, proposed as a reaction to the case of an oral surgeon accused of maintaining filthy office conditions, that deals with training requirements for oral surgery ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Dental groups oppose legislation

    TULSA — Some Oklahoma dental groups are opposing a bill in the state Legislature dealing with training requirements for oral surgery dental assistants....

    April 20, 2014

  • Pork producer subsidiary plans to use compressed gas

    GUYMON — A subsidiary of Oklahoma pork producer Seaboard Foods has begun using trucks fueled by compressed natural gas to deliver biodiesel....

    April 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma City Memorial Bombing museum gets tech boost

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A memorial and museum built to remember the worst act of domestic terrorism on American soil is in the midst of a $7 million upgrade so it can better portray how different the world was when Timothy McVeigh blew up the ...

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. puts off pipeline decision

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely....

    April 19, 2014

  • Sonic plans expansion

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma-based Sonic Corp. plans to open 1,000 new drive-in restaurants nationwide over the next 10 years, expanding the chain by about 30 percent, the company said....

    April 19, 2014

  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014