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Drought Intensifying in Parts of Oklahoma (Jan 21, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Climatological Survey says drought conditions persist in Oklahoma and are intensifying despite moisture from recent winter weather.

Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus said Friday the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report indicates severe drought in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. Moderate drought has been indicated in the central one-third of the state, as well as southwestern, far southeastern and the Panhandle of Oklahoma.

According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, the average statewide precipitation total for the past 60 days is 1.49 inches, more than 2 inches below average. In central Oklahoma, the average total of 0.55 inches is more than 3 inches below normal.

McManus says prospects for relief are slim because of an ongoing La Nina, or cooler than normal water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

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