So Far 2014 Brings Only 14% of Normal Precipitation; But There is Hope

The Great Texoma Drought that began in 2010 continues to leave us high and dry. 

So far in the year 2014 we have received only 0.35" of precipitation.  And by this day of the year, (Monday, February 24, 2014) we should have received 2.51".  That means for the year to date we have received only 14% of our normal precipitation.  This number gets added to the extreme deficit that has been adding up since 2010.  And now we have a deficit of 41".  No wonder our lakes and stock tanks are going dry.

Back to back strong 'La Ninas' got us into this drought back in 2010-2012.  A 'La Nina' gives Texoma a weather pattern of hot and dry.  A strong 'La Nina' gives our area extreme drought and record high temperatures in the 110s.

At this time we are in what is considered a neutral pattern. This means that we are not experiencing a 'La Nina' or an 'El Nino.'  This should mean normal precipitation and normal temperatures but unfortunately that is not the case.  But first let's figure out the difference between 'La Nina' and 'El Nino.'

Here is the difference between the two:
  • 'La Nina' brings Texoma hot and dry conditions.
  • 'El Nino' brings Texoma cool and wet conditions.
The current Climate Prediction Center forecast calls for temperatures to be above to much above normal with precipitation being normal.  This sounds good on the surface with the 'normal' precipitation.  But here is the problem.  If the temperature forecast of above normal to much above normal verifies it means there will be a much greater amount of evaporation from the area lakes and stock tanks.  So, even with normal rainfall the lakes will continue to drop due to extreme evaporation.

In addition to issuing forecasts on temperature and precipitation the CPC also issues general drought forecasts.  And, at this time the Climate Prediction Center is predicting the drought to persist and/or intensify for a majority of Texoma.  However there is a bright spot of hope in the forecast.  Just outside of Stephens, Jefferson and Comanche counties to the northeast the CPC is forecasting the drought to improve and more rainfall.  It wouldn't take much for this area of improved rainfall to move into Texoma.  But the reality is that right now a majority, about 95% of Texoma, is forecast to see drought persistence and/or intensification.

Therefore the extreme decade long rainfall deficit of 41" is likely to increase week by week and month by month as the skies remain relatively dry and the heat bakes the ground.

For more information see the related web links to the top right of this article, including maps from the Climate Prediction Center.

KFDX Meteorologist Bryan Rupp

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