February rain, snow making big impact on OK drought

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Updated: 2/28/2013 10:19 am Published: 2/26/2013 8:57 pm

Over the last two days in Tulsa, 1.35 inches of precipitation have fallen.

Added to the 1.44 inches that fell in the five days before that, climatologists are finally seeing a difference in drought conditions in our area.

Currently, the entire state is in a severe drought and forty-one percent, including a large chunk of Green Country, is in exceptional drought.

“We rolled through most of the winter really dry, and in February, we've just turned the corner. We've had a very active weather pattern,” Gary McManus, Associate State Climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, said Tuesday.

FOX23 Chief Meteorologist James Adyelott is smiling.

“(I’m) very happy with the rain. It's come fairly gently, these all day rains have soaked in, not much has run off. It’s just what we needed,” Adyelott said.

McManus says two weeks of moisture have made a difference.

“It was very welcome surprise, and we'd like this to continue over the next several months.”

He says that because a rainy month, no matter how much falls, won't solve our state’s drought dilemma.

“February is probably going to end up being one of our 12 wettest February's on record,” McManus said.

He encourages people to keep hoping for precipitation like what we've seen recently.

“That is a big drought denter, but we still have a ways to go to get completely out of the drought.”

Aydelott is optimistic.

“Short term, over next couple of weeks I think we have more chances for rain back in our area, and we need that.”

Aydelott knows the reward after the rain isn't just a rainbow.

“If we hold out this weather pattern, we might be out of this drought before the Spring is over.”

There should be a much clearer picture of how much this rainy month helped the overall drought picture in the state when new drought maps are released on Thursday.

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