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June 7, 2014

OUR VIEW: Despite rain, drought persists

STILLWATER, Okla. — Payne County residents are welcoming the recent rain. Lawns are getting watered, the flowers are blooming and farm ponds are a little less stressed.

The rain interrupted a few sports schedules and outdoor activities, but the rainfall has been a welcome sight.

But climatologists warn that this temporary respite, while welcome, has done little to improve the drought conditions in Oklahoma and Payne County.

The southwest corner of the state is still in exceptional drought conditions while the western quarter of the state is in severe to extreme drought.

Most parts of the state remain in abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.

The Payne County burn ban expired last Wednesday, but the county remains in drought conditions.

Despite the recent rains, it’s still hot, dry and windy, ideal conditions for wildfires.

And we haven’t come close to reaching our peak air temperatures for the year.

The official start of summer arrives in two weeks, and we all know what summers in Oklahoma can be like.

Two years ago, the entire state of Oklahoma was like a tinderbox with weather consisting of triple-digit temperatures, gusty winds and drought conditions. North central Oklahoma experienced a wave of destructive wildfires that burned thousands of acres and structures.

So despite the precipitation in the last week, residents should still exercise caution when burning, and that includes using welding equipment or even grilling a hot dog on the family grill.

 

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