Oklahoma Rainfall Summaries
The Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) and the Oklahoma Mesonet developed November’s featured climate tool, which provides drought-related information for the state. The tool is frequently used by the agricultural community, and is often referred to in order to categorize drought by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board, the USDA, and the media, among others. It was developed in response to the extreme 1995-96 drought and utilizes Oklahoma Mesonet observations – a statewide network of 120 weather stations existing since 1994.
The total precipitation statewide and for 9 regions of Oklahoma, defined as climate divisions, is available at this site, as well as 3 separate measures of how unusual the precipitation amount may be. These measures include the departure from normal (using long-term climate averages), percentage of normal, and rank since 1921. The driest and wettest period on record is also available, along with detailed maps of total precipitation, normal precipitation, the departure from normal, and the percentage of normal based on the Oklahoma Mesonet sites. Perhaps the most useful detail of this tool is that the tabs on the top of the page allow the user to select different time periods of analysis such as the last 30 days, last 60 days, last 365 days, since Oct 1, since Jan 1, etc.
In addition to this tool, OCS developed a similar regional precipitation tool that includes stats for 10 surrounding states (http://www.southernclimate.org/products/precip.php), in collaboration with the Southern Regional Climate Center (SRCC) and the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP). That tool uses data from NCDC’s climate division data set. Readers are encouraged to browse these sites, and others on the OCS website. OCS has so many interactive climate tools, they are not even completely represented in the AASC database yet!
Each month, an AASC-developed climate tool will be featured from our “Climate Tools Database”, expanding on the short description already listed in the table.
Assistant State Climatologist OWSC