Well, I took a couple of weeks off from the “drought watch,” on this blog, but here I am again. I’m sorry to sound like a broken record, but these conditions are looking like they could become really, really bad.
How bad you ask?
Do you remember 2011? How about 2012 or 2013? If you do, THAT BAD.
Here are some quick comparisons (at least for Oklahoma) check out the follow information our friends at the Oklahoma MESONET put out last week—
Here is a comparison of days above 90 degrees at this point in time in 2011
Now check out the comparisons of days above 100 degrees then-
Now check out what the drought picture looks like for Oklahoma now and how it looked then-
Now check out last weeks drought monitor map for the whole region then (2011)
And now (2022)-
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe I should just shut up.
Obviously, a series of heavy rains could hit the whole region next week and break the drought. I wouldn’t bet on it, however.
While I know I am once again repeating myself, it is good advice to give serious thought on your drought plans. Do you have a strategy for dealing with what every day seems more and more likely heading our way?
If you’re interested, our partners at USDA and the Cooperative Extension Service have tons of information and tips for you to consider-in an earlier blog post we wrote about some of the suggestions Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has on drought planning here; Oklahoma State University Extension has some great wildfire information here; the Noble Research Institute has some useful resources for drought planning here; we even have some videos with NRCS personnel talking about dry weather strategies here and here. If you want to strategize further out not just for drought, but for all extreme weather, you can check out the NRCS climate adaption workbook here.
I know I am repeating myself, but I truly worry that it is going to get really, REALLY bad. When you have these conditions and the chance for a very rare third La Nina in a row, the stars seem to be aligning that way.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope talking about all this dry weather will lead to heavy rain storms. I think we would be wise, however, to plan for extreme drought.