Oklahoma’s drought continues: KFOR Meteorologist talks lengthy dry season, increased fire danger across the state

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Dry and windy conditions are continuing to be a problem across the Sooner State. The extended period without adequate rainfall, plus high winds has caused fire crews to continuously battle the flames, like the large grass fires in Logan and Oklahoma counties, among other areas of Oklahoma.

“As we head into the early parts of the year, this is generally where we see our peak fire conditions,” said KFOR Meteorologist Damien Lodes. 

Lodes said our above average rainfall in 2021 lead to an overgrowth of vegetation. Although great at the time, that excess can cause problems during the colder months.

“If you have more of that because of increased rainfall, you have more stuff to burn,” said Lodes. “Whenever you start to see drought conditions with that excess vegetation, that’s just like a negative feedback loop where you get in worst case scenario, with worst case scenario, with worst case scenario with where you had the driest conditions meeting up with excess vegetation mixed up with windy conditions.”

These conditions, perfect for an above average to dangerous fire season in Oklahoma, which runs from late December to March.

Comparing Oklahoma’s drought conditions to a year ago, and even three months ago, shows a concerning contrast.

“We had one of the driest December of all time,” said Lodes. “So we’re going to be in that pattern here for the foreseeable future, at least for the winter season.”

Seasonal Precipitation Outlook (Photo: CPC)

Unfortunately, there doesn’t look like much precipitation headed our way anytime soon, other than a low chance in the next ten days.

“So Western Oklahoma is going to be bone dry, central Oklahoma, we might get a shower, some drizzle one day, which I think is going to be midweek next week, and then in eastern Oklahoma, we might see some showers developing,” said Lodes.

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