NOAA releases summer rainfall and temperature outlooks
(KTEN) – Even though we’ve been dealing with summer-like temperatures for the first half of May, summer is still technically not here yet.
On average, we start June with temperatures in the mid 80s with July and August seeing temperatures in the low to mid 90s. Average rainfall slowly decreases into the summer months.
With the warmest part of the season beginning in June, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released their forecast for what we can expect with rainfall and temperatures this summer.
June averages around 4.50 inches of rain, with July and August just under 3 inches.
NOAA’s forecast is calling for below average rainfall during the three month span of June, July, and August.
With that being said, Texoma can expect our already dry summer months to be even drier.
With drought conditions continuing to improve in eastern and south-central Oklahoma, that’s good news heading into the summer months.
Since NOAA is forecasting below normal rainfall this summer, we want to see as much drought improvement during the rainy months of the year as possible.
At the beginning of 2022, Texoma had been in a seven month rainfall deficit. Once we reached April, rainfall increased and our drought conditions significantly improved. Where there was once extreme drought conditions in a number of Texas and Oklahoma counties there is now no drought or only abnormally dry conditions remaining.
While the KTEN viewing area has seen continued improvement in drought conditions, that’s not the case in western Oklahoma. Extreme to exceptional drought remains in place for western portions of the Sooner State while eastern Oklahoma has seen the majority of the latest rainfall, which helped remove drought conditions.
With below normal rainfall forecast through the summer months, drought will likely worsen in western Oklahoma. Typically, drought conditions during the summer months lead to oppressive summer temperatures. This means portions of the Sooner State and the Lone Star state could be in for quite the oppressive summer.
As stated before, we’ve already had a number of 90 degree days in Texas and Oklahoma. It may be mid-May but it’s been feeling more like July or August.
Heading into the summer months, there’s a good chance both Texas and Oklahoma will see temperatures above the normal 80s and low 90s.
If drought conditions continue to improve, this could help keep us closer to normal in regards to temperatures. However, worsening drought conditions leading into the drier months of the year can mean we’re in for some hot summer days.
Why does drought typically mean warmer temperatures leading into the summer months?
With extreme to exceptional drought in place for western Oklahoma heading into the summer months, it means there’s already a lack of soil moisture.
When soil moisture is low in the summer, it sets up a situation where the sun’s rays are able to heat the surface much more quickly. This is because when moisture is available in the soil, the sun will evaporate the moisture first before heating the ground. Evaporation is a cooling process.
Without the cooling process, the ground is able to heat up more quickly. This in turn continues to decrease any remaining soil moisture, which allows more heating, and so on and so forth.
The drought and heat feed off of each other and it leads to worsening conditions.
Depending on how severe the conditions get and how long they last, drought can devastate crops, dry out forests/grass, reduce food and water available for wildlife and livestock, etc. It directly influences fire danger.
With the extreme drought conditions already in place, the summer months could be devastating for farmers in western Oklahoma.