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.