We are going into the fourth year of terrible drought for most of western and southwestern Oklahoma.
There was plenty of rain in 2013 for most of the state to kiss the drought goodbye. However, areas along the west Oklahoma-Texas border never saw relief, and now the worse level of drought is creeping back to the east.
Looking at the latest Drought Monitor, more than 13 percent of the state is under exceptional drought conditions. Just picking two locations, Altus and Erick, Oklahoma it is devastatingly clear just how bad the drought is. The last year of decent rainfall in the west was 2010.
Starting in the fall of 2010, rainfall in western Oklahoma was hard to come by. This was followed by one of the driest years on record in 2011. Both Altus and Erick saw less than half of their normal rainfall in 2011. Every year since, this part of the state has seen far below normal rainfall leading to astounding deficits.
Adding up the yearly deficits in Altus since 2010, this town is now 45.45 inches of rain below average. This is absurd considering their yearly rainfall average is only 29.17 inches.
Adding up the yearly deficits in Erick since 2010, this town is now 27.57 inches of rain below average. This is going to take a long time to correct when you look at their yearly average rainfall of only 27.59 inches.
These are just two towns out of dozens that are in the exact same situation. In the short term, we have decent rain chances coming up on Sunday, but again western Oklahoma will miss out on the bulk of the moisture.