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Oklahoma sees slight improvements after months of harsh drought

A dry, cracked pond bed surrounded by dry yellow grass and barren trees.
Graycen Wheeler
A dry, cracked pond bed at Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.

After months of worsening drought, Oklahomans saw some improvement last week. But most of the state is still exceptionally dry.

The U.S. Drought Monitor releases a report every week highlighting areas in five different stages of drought based on precipitation, soil moisture and other statistics. Last week, Oklahoma’s report showed improvements in all five categories.

From July to the beginning of December, 100% of the state was in some stage of drought. But even after snow and rain over the past few weeks, 95% of the state is still there.

Northern Oklahoma is still in extreme or exceptional drought, which can lead to water shortages and agricultural losses. But parts of the state’s southeast corner have escaped drought classification for now.

Here's how the drought has changed over time:

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Graycen Wheeler is a reporter covering water issues at KOSU as a corps member with Report for America.
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