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March 2014

  • Although a few spots received above normal precipitation this month, most of the HSA once again recorded below normal rainfall during March 2013. The month started off with wintery precipitation and ended with showers and thunderstorms.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for March 2014 ranged from around an inch in portions of western Osage and Pawnee Counties to around 5” in a triangle area from McAlester to Fayetteville to Fort Smith. The majority of the HSA received 2”-4” of rain this month. Most of the HSA received less than 90% of the normal rainfall for March, with most of Choctaw, Osage, Pawnee, and Washington Counties in eastern OK only reaching 25%-50% of normal. Isolated areas within the triangle from McAlester to Fayetteville to Fort Smith had above normal rainfall, with much of Pittsburg County recording 110% to 150% of the normal March precipitation.
  • Moderate flooding occurred along the Poteau River near Panama in response to heavy rainfall on March 15-16.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from March 25, 2014, Moderate Drought (D1) conditions were present across a large portion of northeast OK, affecting Osage, Pawnee, Washington, Nowata, Craig, western Ottawa, Rogers, Tulsa, Creek, Okfuskee, western Okmulgee, Pushmataha, and Choctaw Counties. Abnormally Dry (D0), but not experiencing drought, conditions were occurring across the remainder of eastern OK, except for Pittsburg and Latimer Counties. In northwest AR, D0 conditions were affecting Benton, Carroll, western Washington, Crawford, and western Sebastian Counties.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, March 2014 was the 34th driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 45th wettest for east central Oklahoma, and the 44th driest for southeast Oklahoma. Records go back to 1921.
  • The Climate Prediction Center CPC outlook April 2014 (issued March 31, 2014) indicates a slightly enhanced chance for above median precipitation across northwest AR, with equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation elsewhere across the area. This outlook also indicates equal chances for above, near, and below normal temperatures across all of eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook is based on short-range forecasts of expected weather conditions, especially for the first few days of April.
  • For the 3-month period April-May-June 2014, CPC is forecasting a slightly enhanced chance for above normal temperatures and equal chances for above, near, and below median rainfall across all of eastern OK and northwest AR (outlook issued March 20, 2014). This outlook is based on both statistical and dynamical forecast tools, as well as antecedent soil moisture, under ENSO neutral conditions.
  • According to CPC, ENSO neutral conditions remained through March.  ENSO neutral conditions are expected to continue through Spring 2014.  However, an El Niño Watch has been issued, indicating conditions are favorable for El Niño development within the next 6 months.