August’s heat and drought appeared ferocious at first, with widespread triple-digit temperatures and moisture deficits throughout the first half of the month. A strong cold front signaled a pattern change, however, and the heat settled into more seasonable levels for the last half of the month. On the whole, August was still well above normal and contributed to the hottest climatological summer seen in the state since 2011. There was just enough rainfall to provide some drought relief near the end of the month, but not before the coverage of severe drought had expanded to its highest levels in the state since March 5, 2013. The Aug. 9 U.S. Drought Monitor report had 92.5% of the state in at least severe drought, but that level had diminished to 88% at month’s end. Impacts reported to the Oklahoma Mesonet included dry farm ponds, cattle sell-offs, a lack of hay and grazing, and crop failures. There was some severe weather associated with the rainy periods in the form of damaging winds and hail, but the more significant impacts came in the way of heavy rains. Widespread flash flooding occurred over Aug. 22-23 and again on the 29th in parts of central and southern Oklahoma, and necessitated road closures and water rescues for stranded motorists.
September 7, 2022
August Heat Adds To Hottest Summer Since 2011