Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Feeling like fall? Warmer temperatures have effect on crops, wildlife

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It may technically be fall, but it may not look that way.

"It's mid November. You'll notice they still have green leaves on them and, if you go around the state, you'll see little bits of fall color, but they're not getting the chilling temperatures that they need,” said George Geissler, director of OK Forestry Services.

Experts said the warmer temperatures are having an effect on everything from crops to wildlife.

"The squirrels are a little more active. They're usually hibernating more this year. If you have a pet, you know that they have flea issues that they don't normally have this time of the year," Geissler said.

"We're past our average freeze date, so we're due for it, that's for sure. And, we've already been well above normal. Our temperatures for Tuesday: 15 to 20 degrees above normal. We will likely see a record high for Wednesday,” said NewsChannel 4 Meteorologist Emily Sutton.

The drought monitor shows many areas of the state are dry and reaching toward severe drought conditions.

"We're definitely starting to see the drought creep back in, and you have to keep in mind that we are heading into the driest months of the year during the winter, and so that could be very dangerous heading into the next year thinking about the fire season ahead,” Sutton said.

Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas already reeling from the drought.

That's why the Oklahoma Forestry Services said now is the time to take precautions.

"Rake your leaves. Go ahead, and move your firewood away from the house, little things that can help firefighters in the future,” Geissler said.

For more information on how to protect your home, visit the Forestry's website.

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