Peggy Kiefer

Grove Sun

The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting yet another week of dangerously high temperatures. NWS reports heat levels will intensify for the first half of the week with record temperatures possible Tuesday and Wednesday.

The report states this will further worsen the heat stress conditions and excessive heat warnings and advisories remain in effect for the Grove area. Along with record heat, NWS reports drought conditions

now exist across all of Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Arkansas.

As of July 29, extreme drought conditions encompass a small portion of Eastern Oklahoma with moderate to severe drought across all of Eastern Oklahoma and Northwest Oklahoma.

There are five levels of intensity on the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM):

D0 Abnormally dry/not in drought but showing

D1 Moderate Drought

D2 Severe Drought

D3 Extreme Drought

D4 Exceptional Drought

The report also predicts that drought conditions will continue to worsen as a persistent and record breaking heat wave continues across the area.

There was a slight relief from the heat this weekend with the scattered storms and cloud cover but NWS reports the rainfall amounts were not enough to stall the expansion of drought conditions.

As of July 29, all local counties had burn bans in effect. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Soil Moister Anomaly Analysis as of July 28 indicated soil moister deficits of about 0.8 to 6.3 inches across most

of Eastern Oklahoma.

Most of the area has received less than a quarter inch of rain from July 15 through July 29 which is less than 25 percent of the normal rainfall for this time period. Over the last month the rainfall totals ranged from about .5 to around four inches across most of the area. This is less hat 50 percent of the normal rainfall for this period. Some locations have received less than 25 percent of the normal rainfall this

past month.

According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) since the beginning of summer, Northeast, East Central and Southeast Oklahoma all ranked as the second driest periods since records began in 1921. For the last 60 days ending on July 28, Northeast Oklahoma ranked as the first driest. Not all are reporting doom and gloom. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is predicting the next eight to fourteen day outlook with an enhanced chance of above normal temperatures and an elevated likelihood of above normal precipitation for far Northeast Oklahoma and parts of Northwest Arkansas. Some rain is

the good news.

The bad news is the CPC U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook from July 21 through October 31 indicates drought conditions are expected to persist or intensify across most of Easter Oklahoma.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) reports most of the major reservoirs in Eastern Oklahoma were above 90 percent of their conservation pools as of July 29. The lowest levels were occurring at Lake Hudson which was reporting at four percent of its conservation pool. Fort Gibson is at 17 percent, Keystone at 72 percent and Skiatook at 75 percent.