Oklahoma summers aren't known for mild temperatures and this summer has been no exception. Monday saw Oklahoma City break its 1980 record of 50 days of temperatures in triple digits by one; Tuesday was recorded as day 52 of 100 degree or hotter temperatures. Today will likely become day 53; it's another hot and somewhat humid day.
As hot as it has been in Oklahoma City, it's been even worse in the town of Grandfield, which on Tuesday had experienced 88 days of the triple-digit temps, as reported by NewsOK.com. Taking into account high and low temperatures recorded in throughout the state in what is officially the designated period of summer -- from June 1 through Aug. 31 -- this Oklahoma summer looks like a shoo-in to beat the previous average temperature of 85.2 degrees in 1934. Currently, as NewsOK explains, Oklahoma's average temperature is at 86.7 degrees.
July alone set record high temperature averages for the Red Man state; the previous record of 88.7 degrees average was set in 1936. The average temperature in the state in July 2011 figured out to be 89.2 degrees, according to MSNBC.
The high heat has taken a toll on the state and its residents in a number of ways. On Aug. 19, the state medical examiner's office confirmed the heat has directly caused 17 deaths, reports KOCO News. The U.S. Drought Monitor has most of Oklahoma and Texas rated as areas of exceptional drought -- the highest rating for the condition, according to ocolly.com, with Gov. Mary Fallin declaring all 77 Oklahoma counties in a state of emergency from the extended heat and dryness.
Even the wildlife in the state have been negatively impacted by this Oklahoma summer, with baby hawks and squirrels at risk from dying from the heat and larger animals such as deer and bear having to travel farther to find food and water, explains NewsOK. The heat and dryness have contributed to the higher-than-usual amount of wildfires and some farmers and ranchers may find it difficult to rebound from this unseasonable weather.
Residents need to continue to take precautions to avoid being overcome by the heat such as avoiding outdoor activity during the daytime, drinking plenty of water and availing themselves of air conditioning whenever possible.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.
- Oklahoma City