Oklahoma Climatological Survey

The Oklahoma Flash Drought
of Summer 2000
Oklahoma experienced a significant dry spell during some of the summer months of the year 2000. As a result, several severe wildfires developed, and Oklahoma received federal fire suppression assistance from FEMA to control several of these fire complexes.

Drought is sometimes difficult to quantify and explain. As part of its state mission, the Oklahoma Climate Survey performs real-time drought monitoring and participates in Oklahoma's Drought Mitigation Plan. To support these activities, OCS developed a number of tools, including a Mesonet Recent Rainfall product, which summarizes rainfall totals from each Mesonet site for various time periods and aggregates the totals for each of the state's nine climate divisions. The totals are also compared against standard seasonal normal rainfall accumulation values. It is interesting to note that for the year as a whole, the summer months (June - August), and the fall months (September - November), the seasonal statistics do not necessarily indicate that the state experienced a severe drought because heavy rains preceded and followed this dry spell.

  • To understand various impacts of drought conditions.
  • To understand how the definition and length of drought is dependent upon application.
  • To learn to use various tools including rainfall totals from the Mesonet, Stage III Radar/Raingage totals from Arkansas-Red River Basin River Forecast Center, and various components of the Oklahoma Fire Danger Model to examine the onset and conclusion of drought conditions.

Stage III Estimates
Event Data
Event Exercise
Click on "Event Data" for a new window with the information for the exercise.
Reference Material 
Fire Weather
Heat and Drought

OK-FIRST Project, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, 100 East Boyd Street, Suite 1210, Norman, OK 73019.
Copyright © 1996-2005 Oklahoma Climatological Survey. All Rights Reserved.
Send comments or questions concerning OK-FIRST to okfirst@mesonet.org