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Recent rains leave Oklahoma with its lowest drought in over a year

Elmer Thomas Lake in Southwestern Oklahoma, pictured in September 2022.
Graycen Wheeler
Elmer Thomas Lake in Southwestern Oklahoma, pictured in September 2022.

After most of the state received days of heavy rainfall, Oklahoma’s drought report looks refreshing. Only a quarter of the state remains in moderate to exceptional drought, although another third is still classified as “abnormally dry.”

The U.S. Drought Monitorcalculates the severity of drought on a scale from 0 to 500, where 0 would indicate a drought-free state and 500 would mean the entire state is under the most severe category of drought.

Last October, the current drought in Oklahoma hit its peak at 412 on that drought severity index. But this week, the state dropped below 100 on that scale for the first time in over a year.

That’s likely thanks to recent rains — the past month has been wetter than normal for this time of year across most of the state,according to the Oklahoma Mesonet.

Still, about half a million Oklahomans remain in a drought. The most severe drought is in Northern and Southwestern Oklahoma.

The U.S. Drought Monitor releases a new report every Thursday.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

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