• A week of rain makes minor dent in rainfall deficit

    By: Megan McClellan


    Quick Facts:

    • Since Feb. 17, Tulsa received almost 2.5" of rain, McAlester almost 3.5"
    • The last time rainfall totals were above the monthly average was October
    • Both Tulsa and McAlester are below the year-to-date average


    After all the rain from last year, it is hard to think about the drought at times. Even with that, things are drastically dry across Green Country.

    The latest Drought Monitor shows that before all the rain Green Country has received this week, things are still very dry: With minor weekend rainfall, drought monitor shows no changes

    Digging back through the numbers, the last time both Tulsa and McAlester had monthly rainfall totals above the average for a given month was in October. Tulsa was 3.23" above the average while McAlester was 1.89" above the average.

    Once November arrived, the deficit for rainfall began. McAlester was more than 3" in the hole for just November while Tulsa was more than 2" in the hole.

    Just because we may be in the hole now, doesn't mean we can't recover. January and February are considered to be the driest months of the year. The average rainfall for February in Tulsa is 1.85". That jumps to 3.29" in March and by May climbs to 5.91" before falling back some for the dry, hot summer months.

    Taking a different look at the rainfall totals: the "Water Year" as defined by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) is considered to be October through September of the following year.

    Since October of 2014 the full water year numbers have fluctuated some.

    • TULSA
      • 10/2014 - 9/2015 --> 53.37" 
      • 10/2015 - 9/2016 --> 40.32" 
      • 10/2016 - 9/2017 --> 41.98" 
      • 10/2017 - 9/2018 --> 11.98" (so far this year)
      • 10/2014 - 9/2015 --> 67.39" 
      • 10/2015 - 9/2016 --> 53.74" 
      • 10/2016 - 9/2017 --> 42.96" 
      • 10/2017 - 9/2018 --> 11.86" (so far this year)

    FOX23 Meteorologist Megan McClellan looked at how each year stacked up so far to this date. Comparing to 2016-2017 alone, both McAlester and Tulsa are ahead. That changes for other years.

    Tulsa is behind for 2017-2018 compared to 2015-2016, but ahead for 2014-2015. McAlester is behind for 2015-2016 and 2014-2015 compared to rainfall totals so far for 2017-2018.

    FOX23 Meteorologist Brad Carl is digging into how the rain we've seen so far this week is helping with drought conditions across the area.

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