Oklahoma drought conditions worsen


NORMAN, Okla. – Our state’s drought situation is only getting worse, according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

While we’ve had a little rain and snow over the past couple of weeks, it is not enough.

With little to no rain predicted in the 7-Day Forecast, the future is very uncertain.

Click here to find out when your area could see rain

Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal said, “We’re in an historic drought.”

Rosenthal knows the effects of a drought all too well.

The city’s main water source, Lake Thunderbird, is almost eight feet below a level considered the conservation point.

“There are no easy answers,” she said. “We’re not quite sure right now what this will mean for the city of Norman but certainly the projected drought means we’re going to have to do some very, very serious conservation efforts.”

Gary McManus, with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, said, “We’ve missed the last couple of rainy seasons and that’s led to a lot of damage to agriculture in out state.”

McManus said almost all of the state is considered to be in a severe drought.

He said the drought actually started in October of 2010 and has worsened since that time.

In fact, it could compare to a major drought which hit our state in the 1950s.

McManus said, “Several communities are already implementing water conservation in the winter.”

The drought not only leads to water rationing by cities, which is rare in the winter, but also desolate crops and higher prices at the grocery store.

It’s a problem which will impact each and every one of us.

As of right now, there is no sign of the rain we need.

McManus said, “We’re at the mercy of Mother Nature when we get that far out.”

Experts said the drought also increases the threat of wildfires as we near spring; a threat that won’t go away until we see significant rain. 

McManus said, “Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.”

He said snow would actually be a good thing when the ground is this dry.

Rain tends to just run off, not sinking into the ground.

Since snow it sits on top of the soil melting slowly, it helps get moisture deep in to the ground.