Woodward, Okla. —
NORMAN - The cool temperatures for October were a bit out of the normal.
Gary McManus, associate state climatologist at the Oklahoma Mesonet said 25 of the 30 months prior to October were warmer than normal.
"But for October 2012, the month came in as the 26th-coolest 10th month on record in the state," said McManus. "The average was 59.7 degrees, and that's 1.6 degrees below normal."
He said there were some warmer days during the month, but the cool weather hit a little earlier than usual.
Some frosty Arctic air visited during the month, McManus noted.
"The thermometer hit 31 degrees on Oct. 8 at Will Rogers World Airport, the earliest freeze ever for that observing station," he said.
There was another cold spell the last week of the month, and that brought freezing conditions to the southern part of the state, which also was an earlier-than-normal event for the area, McManus said.
While temperatures were cooler, the month was still dry.
"For the month, the Mesonet stations at Cheyenne and Retrop recorded no precipitation in October," he said.
From 1971 to 2000, the Mesonet lists Woodward County normally averaging 2.15 inches of moisture for October. This year, 1.60 inches was collected. On the 12th, 1.53 inches was measured with .04 of an inch on the 13th, and then nothing for the rest of the month.
The remaining .03 of an inch came on Oct. 1.
McManus said that by Oct. 31, it had been as many as 34 days since portions of Southern and Western Oklahoma got even a tenth of an inch of rain during a given day.
"Dating back to September of this year, there were as many as 48 days without some place receiving at least a quarter of an inch," he said. "For Woodward, it has been as long as 53 straight days since at least a quarter-inch of rain fell."
McManus said Northwest Oklahoma in particular has been hit the hardest by the current drought conditions.
The climatologist said the drought monitor, updated Nov. 1, showed that extreme to exceptional drought covered more than two-thirds of the state. "Exceptional" is the most serious condition, followed closely by "severe."
The "exceptional" measurement included Woodward, Ellis, Harper, Woods, Major, Alfalfa, Texas, and most of Beaver County. Cimarron, much of Dewey (except for a northwest area in "exceptional" drought), Roger Mills, Blaine and Custer counties were in the "severe" category.