Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rain in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has been suffering from severe drought conditions for many months, as we reported a few weeks ago.  Thankfully, recent rain storms have eased the drought somewhat, including in the area where Elliot is currently assigned.  We'll see if he has anything to say about the rain in his upcoming email.  According to a recent news story,
The recent storms brought 2 to 4 inches of rain in general, with locally heavier amounts in southwestern Oklahoma. That was also the case up through Oklahoma County, [Gary] McManus [of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey] said. However, there were areas of western and northwestern Oklahoma, as well as the Panhandle, where rainfall totals were a half-inch or less.
The drought is not over but the heavy rain certainly helps.
"For those areas that had received good rains previously to this one, such as in central Oklahoma, [the recent rains] will go a long way toward lessening the drought conditions,” McManus said.
“For other areas, like extreme southwestern Oklahoma, it's a good start. As of midday Friday, much of western and northwestern Oklahoma still needed a good drink to even start thinking about drought relief. For most of western Oklahoma, it's a county-by-county process.”
The rain caused some flooding and property damage, as you can see in the pictures and a video after the jump.  Farmers and ranchers are undoubtedly thrilled to get some rain, despite the damage, although it may have come too late in the growing season to help everyone.
On the bad news side for wheat production in Oklahoma, it was too little too late, [Mark] Hodges [of Plains Grains Inc.] said. In many areas the drought led to little or no crops. And there's a risk that weeds may germinate in crops that are out there, he said.
“While the moisture is too little too late and there are potential problems, I don't think you will find the industry complaining, with the exception it came two months too late,” he said.
Check out the video and pictures after the jump.

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