Preluded by one of the hottest and driest months, August 2019 has been recorded as one of the wettest.
According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, the statewide average rainfall total was 5.44 inches, 2.49 inches above normal. This ranks August 2019 as the 8th wettest since record keeping began in 1895.
In July 2019, Chickasha was declared to be one of the driest cities in the state with a recorded rainfall of 0.03 inches. However, in August, Chickasha's rainfall was recorded at 3.42 inches.
This is nearly double the August 2018 rainfall, which measured 1.75 inches. However, August 2017 was a real gusher. Chickasha received 8.35 inches according to the Oklahoma Mesonet. This was one of the wettest Augusts in decades for Chickasha.
Minco, which was right behind Chickasha as the driest city at 0.04 inches, exceeded Chickasha's August rainfall with 5.59 inches. This puts Minco slightly over the state average as well.
Severe storms in the latter half of August in northeastern and central Oklahoma contributed to the heavy rainfall. The northeastern quarter of the state had its wettest August on record with an averaged of 8.57 inches, 5.54 inches above normal.
August 2019 saw a continuation of triple heat indices. The Mesonet's 120 sites reached a heat index of at least 115 degrees a total of 45 times during the month and at least 110 degrees 566 times. One Mesonet site reached a heat index of 105 degrees on 23 separate days.
Moreover, even though the state received considerably more rainfall, drought conditions persisted across Oklahoma.
"Oklahoma’s drought coverage grew from 6 percent at the end of July to nearly 24 percent by August 20, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. While the total coverage decreased to about 18 percent by month’s end, the drought’s intensity increased in the parched southwestern corner of the state," according to a release from the Oklahoma Mesonet.
"The Climate Prediction Center's September drought outlook shows drought persisting in south central Oklahoma, but some improvement is expected farther to the west. No additional development is expected."