The Woodward News

Local News

January 4, 2013

OCS says 2012 likely warmest year ever in state

Woodward, Okla. — Though the National Climatic Data Center's official numbers won't be released for a few more days, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey (OCS) is calling 2012 Oklahoma's warmest year on record going back to 1895.

Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus with the OCS said, "2011 and 2012 were both well above normal. 2012 will probably end up as warmest on record."

According to the OCS, Oklahoma averaged a temperature of 63.1 degrees in 2012, which is 3.5 degrees above normal.

McManus attributes the increase in temperature to several factors, namely persistent weather patterns that have set up shoving the jet stream farther north and trapping the arctic air away from the United States.

McManus added, "A lot of the heat probably has to do with drought that we've had as well. We've missed the last two rainy seasons and that's hurt us. When you miss your rainy season it effects the heat, and the hotter it gets the dryer everything is, so the two play off one another."

Oklahoma has been plagued by drought since 2011, the state only receiving a state average of 25.23 inches of precipitation in 2011 and 25.92 inches in 2012.  Both these averages are nearly 11 inches below normal. The two year combined total of 51.15 inches is the fourth lowest precipitation average on record. McManus said that this drought could have also contributed to Oklahoma's 2011 summer holding the record for hottest summer for any state since 1895.


Besides setting records, the recent drought and heat have affected several aspects of life in Oklahoma over the past couple of years.

"The worst hit part would be agricultural interests in the state, which is much of the western part of Oklahoma. It's been a terrible time for the cattle ranchers and the cattle industry between the lack of farm ponds and lack of feed and forage for cattle. Farmers have struggled as well as the wheat crop has also been hit hard," McManus said.

According to an OCS press release, experts at Oklahoma State University estimate over $400 million in damage to agriculture interests occurred in 2012, bringing the 2-year agricultural damage estimate to more than $2 billion.

McManus said agricultural interests aren't the only industries that have suffered however.

"All facets of the economy have been effected by this heat and the drought, whether it be industries that require water or tourism or anything like that. The heat can also have negative impacts on our health as well, so it's been pretty impactful over the last few years," he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • Boy, 7, drowns in weekend accident

    A seven-year-old boy died over the weekend when he fell into a swimming pool at a private residence in the Wheatridge addition, according to Woodward police reports.

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission OKs grader financing

    Monday morning in their weekly meeting, Woodward County Commissioners approved the financing on a new John Deere motor grader and discussed in detail the upcoming County Officers and Deputies Association meeting the county will host this October.

    July 29, 2014

  • Deal reached to improve veterans' health care

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan deal announced Monday would authorize about $17 billion to help veterans avoid long waits for health care, hire more doctors and nurses to treat veterans and make it easier to fire executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    July 29, 2014

  • Western Plains sets school supplies drive

     As the beginning of the school year approaches, so does the need for new school supplies.

    July 29, 2014

  • Area woman recovering from West Nile

    It wasn’t too many years ago when West Nile Virus was a scary word everyone hoped never happened to them and most of the time, that was true.

    July 27, 2014

  • Dedication set for art pieces

    Woodward’s collection of public art pieces will grow by two this week.

    July 27, 2014

  • ‘Support YOUR Cause Tour’ making stop in Woodward

    A musician is looking to raise $5,000 at an upcoming local concert.
    But Scott Helmer isn't raising the money for himself.  He is hoping to collect money to help support the Woodward Arts Theatre.

    July 26, 2014

  • Experts offer important tips on grilling

    When Roy Lenz prepares his grill for one of his famous steak nights at the Brandin’ Iron in Laverne, he does so with meticulous care and cleanliness, almost to the point of being compulsive.

    July 26, 2014

  • Light agenda set for county

    County commissioners will see a light agenda for their final meeting in July on Monday.

    July 26, 2014

  • State board votes again to delay education plan

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's State Board of Education voted on Wednesday for a second time to delay a formal plan for adopting new education standards in math and English amid opposition to the proposal from three education groups that represent public school boards and administrators across Oklahoma.

    July 24, 2014