Amt of Rain Needed To End Drought

Okiedawn OK Zone 7November 8, 2012

I've linked the Palmer index map below that shows how much moisture each region needs to more-or-less end the current drought.

For some of us, such a large amount still is needed that it is hard to imagine the current drought will end before the next growing season arrives.

So, while planning next year's plantings, I am planning with drought in mind.


Here is a link that might be useful:

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Dawn many of you need more than I do. That is bad. Really we aren't real bad right now. If we would receive a little moisture over the next 60 days we would be ok. The young wheat is looking good but will need a drink before Jan especially if the warm weather holds much longer. I reported several weeks ago about the first geese moving through. Had only seen 1-2 bunches since till last weekend. Still not a heavy movement yet. And not much hair on the horses. So feel the real cold weather is still a few weeks or more off. Jay

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 6:19PM
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Glenn and I were mentioning the other day that we haven't seen or heard a single flock of geese this fall. They usually fly right over the place.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:59PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


I was a little shocked at how much of OK needs 12-15" of rainfall. Every month that we have a rainfall deficit, we just fall farther behind. I never thought we'd need more rain than you do. Even the 9-12" category is pretty big. I noticed that you needed less rain than us, but I suppose that makes sense because you get less rain in general, so even a serious deficit wouldn't necessarily be as big as our deficit.

Most years I have a pretty good gut feeling about what winter will be like, and this year I just don't. Maybe all the 80-88 degree days in combination with nights in the 60s is messing me up. We'll be very warm for a few days, then very cold for a couple of nights. Our weather makes no sense this fall, and the lack of rainfall bothers me a lot. Last year at this time we were having great rainfall and we were wet. This year we're getting almost nothing.

I have not seen many ducks or geese, but we have a large deer herd and the rabbit population is beginning to rebound after dropping off a lot this summer. The hawks are making me crazy. They are all but sitting on the roof of the chicken coop trying to find a way into the fenced chicken run. It feels like it is going to be a long winter.

What am I seeing a lot of? Scorpions. I guess that is fitting for this year since they like heat and dryness. The big scorpion hangout this year has been under a black tub of water I fill up for the wildlife and a smaller one I fill up for the bunnies and birds. I have to be careful when I lift either container to pour out old water and put in fresh water because there's almost always a scorpion there waiting for me.

We also have cracks in the ground where it never has cracked before. That's sort of a surprise after all these years, and I think it is because of two back-to-back drought years.

I just dread winter. If it remains this dry, it is going to be hard to go into the winter planting season with an optimistic attitude. This is starting to remind me of the dry winter of 2008-09, and that's a bad memory.

I've linked the 30-day-rainfall map. This one shows the rainfall recorded in the last 30 days as a percentage of normal. For most of the state, it is really bad.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 11:12PM
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Dang I hate to hear this.

I started planning already for the spring and I guess I need to look at the varieties of stuff I plant now. And plan to get my stuff out early again this next year.

Does anyone know when (a guess maybe) this will let up?? I was thinking the other day that out of the now almost 4 garden seasons I been gardening, I only had one with semi-normal rain conditions! LOL...

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 6:20AM
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Dawn the scary part of my situation is if you look at the drought map we are a little yellow circle surrounded by extreme and exceptional. We are on the very edge. The odd part the yellow area is basically the area that was a donut hole and received less rain in 2010. We are by no means in good shape just a whole lot better than the last few years. This was year four of exceptionally low rainfall totals. Jay

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Dorothy, Well if you, Jay and I all are seeing the same thing, it must be widespread because we're scattered pretty far apart from each other. I wonder if the geese took a different route this year and headed someplace that has had more rain. Maybe they didn't want to migrate to/through or overwinter in our parched areas. If the cold weather is going to chase them down here, it should happen soon with the big cold front headed our way this weekend.

Ezzirah, Drought is fairly unpredicatable, but based on what I've observed here at our house, when we are this dry in October and, so far, in November, our prolonged and deep drought has almost no chance of ending until at least April or May. In order for that to happen, we need to have above-average rainfall every single month between now and then, and it needs to be significantly above-average. Is that going to happen this winter and/or spring? Who knows?

My best guess based on my experience gardening here since 1999 is that, no, it is not going to happen in my county. We really needed to have a strong El Nino (though a moderate one would have been better than no El Nino) weather pattern in the winter of 2012-2013 and there's no sign that will happen. Without a strong El Nino weather pattern, our fall and winter rainfall usually are not heavy enough to give us significant drought relief. The question then is whether or not we'll have a rainy spring, and that's unknown and unpredictable. The longer we stay abnormally dry, the harder it is to get enough rain to end the drought. After Exceptional Drought in southern OK in 2005-06, some ranchers still had empty ponds and creeks in 2008. It just never rained enough to return those ponds and creeks to their previous water levels, even though they temporarily held water for a few months when 2007 was very wet in May, June and July.

I am planning for drought in 2013, certainly in terms of the winter and spring planting seasons so will try to plan and plant accordingly. Our first few years here, drought was mostly a July and August issue. Our last few years? It has been an issue maybe 6 to 8 months of each year at the very least, except for 2007 and 2010.

Jay, I was noticing that when I looked at the U. S. Drought Monitor Map, and I was thinking y'all might not get to enjoy being in "only" extreme drought for long. I bet a couple of months of no rainfall could put you right back in Exceptional Drought.

I think your weather has been abnormally dry every single year since you started posting on this forum. Do you ever have a year with above-average moisture? I'm starting to wonder if you do. Isn't that hard to imagine? I tend to have above-average moisture about one out of every three years. (I know that statistically it should be one out of every two, but that does not happen!) We'll have two dry years and one really wet year. 2013 ought to be our really wet year, but I don't necessarily think it will be.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:36AM
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I saw a few geese yesterday flying over Grand Lake, but it was a small flock and they were flying low, so I'm not sure they were leaving the area. Although we have had low temps we still have lots of green stuff.

We are down about 15 inches from last years rainfall according to the Mesonet, but I don't have a lot of faith in the figure. We had a huge rain in Grove once when almost nothing reported at the Mesonet point. Twice the TV station reported huge amounts of rainfall for us when we didn't get anywhere near that amount. Both times they reported over 5 inches of rainfall. When it happened the second time, I emailed the weather folks at the TV station and I got an email back thanking me for the heads-up and that they had reported it and found that debris was jamming the equipment and it would be fixed.

The Mesonet amount is frequently very different from Grove, but I guess it evens out over time. I think the two excessive amounts were coming from the NWS though and I don't know where there collection points are.

At this point they are predicting a 90 percent chance of rain on Veterans Day and some real drop in the temps.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 1:11PM
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