Dryer than dry: area goes almost two months without rain

·2 min read

Aug. 6—As of Thursday morning, the Ada area has gone 54 days — almost two months — with less than 0.1 inches of rain, essentially no rain at all, according to mesonet.org.

Faced with these dry conditions and crippling heat, area plants, animals, and people are feeling the stress.

"We've been dry and unseasonably hot all across the state," John Pike, National Weather Service Meteorologist said Thursday. "The next real chance for Ada to get any rainfall may be early next week."

Only eight other locations across the state have been so dry.

Recent forecasts have included small hopes for rain, 20 to 30 percent chances, but as thunderheads built on the horizon in the distance, hopes for rain blew away into surrounding counties.

Even August thunderstorms would only begin to address the moisture deficit in the area. Mesonet reports soil moisture as almost non-existent.

"Our outlook doesn't really look all that favorable," Pike added. "It calls for a below-average chance for rain going out for the next 30 days, and also going out to the next 90 days. The trend is for temperatures to remain above normal as well. So we're not really seeing any break in the one- to three-month outlook. We expect it to be persistently hotter and drier than normal.

"There is an upper ridge of high pressure overhead," Pike continued. "That typically keeps things very hot down at the surface, and keeps any kind of rainfall from developing."

Outdoor pets are particularly vulnerable to the heat. Owners should be certain their pets have ample fresh water and shade, and should check on their animals often.

Wildlife also suffers in very hot, dry conditions.

Pontotoc County is under a burn ban which is scheduled to expire Aug. 15, but could be extended in two-week intervals until significant rain falls in the area.

The U.S. Drought Monitor lists Pontotoc County as severe to extreme drought, just one level short of their worst category, exceptional drought, which large swaths of Texas are currently experiencing.