By Gary McManus, of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey:
“Tomorrow’s drought picture for Oklahoma will be worse than during the previous month. The changes are a bit slower when you get into the cool season … less water stress involved with the cooler weather. The growing season ends and the plants go dormant, we quit watering lawns and filling swimming pools. But drought can still worsen during the cool season, of course. The continued lack of rainfall and periods of unseasonably warm weather, not to mention the strong winds, have begun to take their toll once again. We’re still tracking the impacts on our stock ponds, lakes and reservoirs.
“Not every body of water is suffering, but things are not looking good for some.
“Lake Altus continues as the worst in the bunch at 17 percent of capacity, pretty much unchanged from last year at this time, but still going down. Others lakes such as Hugo and Waurika have dropped considerably in the last month as well as in the last year.
“At least there is rain in the forecast! It doesn’t look like much for the western half of the state right now.
“Looks like eastern Oklahoma will get the best moisture. A half of an inch or less in the western half, but maybe localized areas will get a good shower or two. Until that time, and even afterward, the fire danger will continue to be elevated (extreme at times). This is very much reminiscent of the weather conditions we had going into November 2005, a very bad period for fires.
“One good dose of rain would definitely help that wheat crop across western Oklahoma, especially in north central Oklahoma. A look at the latest departure from average greenness map for the last week shows there’s a lot of wheat seed in the ground out there still waiting erupt. That’s a similar picture all the way to the Canadian border.”