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. . . Day by Day . . . . . . December 11 in Mesonet History* . . .
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Record Maximum 80 F WAUR 2015
Record Minimum 3 F BOIS 2000
Record Rainfall 2.54" NRMN 2007

* Mesonet History = since 1994

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December 7, 2017   December 7, 2017   December 7, 2017   December 7, 2017    



I didn't know, I didn't know! I spent so much time yesterday working on drought
that I had NO CLUE (WATCH IT, PAL!) that we were about to be plunged into an 
arctic blast of such magnitude. Low temperatures have plummeted thanks to a 
reinforcing shot of cold air following Monday's cold front (a day in which we
set lots of records for high temps). Wind chills have dropped below zero in the 
northwest, and into the single digits and teens across much of the rest of 
Oklahoma. And actual air temperatures plummeted into the single digits across
the Panhandle.


That 7 degrees in Boise City is the coldest reading we've seen on the Mesonet 
since it was lower than that. Oh, the date? Well, that was back on Feb. 25 when
Eva dropped down to 5 degrees. Smooth sailing since then. Highs today will jump 
back into the...mid-30s? Those were good years, but horrible temperatures.


A hard freeze again for the entire state tonight, then a bounce-back into the 
60s by this weekend. 


Now what I THOUGHT was going to be the big news of the day was the continuing 
intensification of drought across the state. We did get some rain across far
southeastern OK, which forestalled any intensification in that area. 


Unfortunately, that's the only rain we've had in ages. And we're still faced 
with growing deficits across nearly all the state. After today, it will have 
been 70 days (70 DAYS, FOLKS!!) that the western Panhandle has seen at least a
quarter-inch of rain, and it's been between 46-67 days since a bunch of the
state has seen a tenth of an inch. 


And we're now faced with the 12th driest last-60 days since at least 1921 for


Given the reports of drought-stressed crops (especially winter wheat), low or
empty farm ponds, increased fire danger, etc., we asked for another 
intensification of drought across the state, and the new Drought Monitor map 
ain't pretty. 


Nearly 51% of the state is now in drought, and nearly all the rest is in 
abnormally dry conditions (drought precursor mode). The big stat there is more 
than 27% of the state is in at least severe drought.

Now this is important that we start to increase those drought levels on the 
Drought Monitor since some ag relief programs are contingent on that drought
designation. We don't take that into consideration when determining drought,
but it works in symbiosis with out depiction since agricultural damage is a
major "ground truth" when determining drought levels. And that's why those
reports from the field we receive here at the Mesonet are so important. It's
very easy for us to sit hundreds of miles away just looking at data and tell
folks what they're experiencing as far as drought...but if you'll re-read the 
first part of this sentence, you'll see how ridiculous that statement is.

"Hey, my wheat is rapidly dying off. We're in drought!"

Sorry, I show you with a good rain 78 days ago, so the 90-day rainfall 
statistics look pretty good to me. NO DROUGHT. 

And it can work in reverse. We can detect drought in the data and declare it
a meteorological drought even though damages aren't apparent in the ag 
community. Perhaps it's impacting firefighters? Water managers? Municipal water

Just all the fun types of combinations we get to sort through each week with 
the Drought Monitor. Of course we'd prefer a blank map...makes our Sunday-
Wednesdays a bit easier. But this is Oklahoma...just doesn't seem to happen 
that way. 

Gary McManus
State Climatologist
Oklahoma Mesonet
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
(405) 325-2253