Texoma drought likely to worsen

The eastern two-thirds of Texoma need a good soaking rainfall.

We’ve had several shots at heavy rainfall during the month of October, but it’s been very hit-and-miss, favoring the western regions and leaving the eastern two-thirds of our area parched. This is the exact reverse of the norm. Eastern portions of Texoma have logged in some cases less an inch during the past 30 days, leaving areas such as Durant and Paris in a moderate to severe drought. October is normally the 2nd wettest month of the year with a 30-year average of 5.29”…just behind May.

Here are some October rainfall totals:
Ada: 2.43”
Antlers .54”
Ardmore: 2.25”
Atoka: 1.17”
Durant .54”
Gainesville: 2.90”
Hugo .76”
Paris: 0.39” (Driest in Texoma)
Sherman-Denison: 1.24”

The highest measured rainfall from any regular reporting station in the area was at Fittstown in southern Pontotoc County, where 3.18” fell. This is still only 60% of the normal, so you can appreciate what a dry month it has been.

October has also been a very warm month, meaning much higher evaporation than normal for this time of year. According to surface weather data, Texoma is running more than 6 degrees above the 30-year average (called the “normal”) for the month. This puts 2016 in the top 10 warmest Octobers on record.

Add to this NOAA’s recently released Winter Outlook for 2016-2017, which shows odds leaning toward a drier and warmer winter than average. All of this is bad news for our late winter fire season, and for the needed cold to kill off a record year for insects, mosquitos and various agricultural pestilences.

Of course, it’s just a forecast; perhaps we will luck out and have a real winter this year, but the odds are against it.

Take Care,
Steve LaNore
Chief Meteorologist
KXII-TV / News 12