Looking around at weather in some areas of the nation, by Gary McManus, Oklahoma Climatological Survey
From Gary McManus
Oklahoma Climatological Survey:
Records will no doubt be shattered today somewhere. So the heat wave has set in and the drought is worsening, not just here in Oklahoma but across much of the interior of the U.S. Should it concern you?
Do you eat and/or produce food? If you answered “yes,” then yes, you should be concerned.
Word from the USDA shows how poorly things are getting.
* Six percent of the country’s pasture/rangeland dropped into the “poor/very poor”
category this week. That’s the largest one-week expansion on record dating back to 1996.
* The “poor/very poor” extent has expanded 12 percent in the last four weeks, worst since a 13 percent decline ending in July 2001.
* 34 percent of the pastures/rangeland covering the U.S. are now in the “poor/very poor” category. For the month of June, only June 30, 2002, had worse.
In other words, not only is it bad, it is particularly bad for June across much of interior U.S.
The good news locally is that Oklahoma is still in pretty good shape, at least for now. All the states surrounding us, however, are not faring quite as well.
Things aren’t horrible, except for maybe New Mexico, Colorado and Arkansas, but it’s the speed of deterioration under the “upper ridge of death” that is the true concern, because it looks to stay around for awhile.