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
  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. food pantries struggle to meet demand

    TULSA — Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Oklahoma are scrambling to meet demand for food from, among other groups, kids left in the lurch because they can’t get the free and discounted meals offered when schools are in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Rogers County clerk sues paper over stories

    CLAREMORE — The Rogers County clerk has sued the Claremore Daily Progress and its government reporter over claims the newspaper painted her in a false light and invaded her privacy. Clerk Robin Anderson filed a lawsuit Thursday against ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. high court says lawmaker can serve as DA

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A Republican House member from Jenks is eligible to become Tulsa County’s district attorney, even though a raise for prosecutors was approved during his term in the Legislature, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Friday....

    July 26, 2014

  • Fallin wants probe to include botched executions

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says the governor wants investigators looking into Oklahoma’s recent flawed execution to consider problems that have popped up in other states such as Ohio and Arizona....

    July 26, 2014