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December & Year 2016

  • Tulsa: December 2016 was the 44th coldest (39.4°F, tied 2008, 1995; since 1905), the 17th driest (0.44"; since 1888), and the 49th snowiest (0.5", tied 1912, 1918, 2007, 2015; since 1900) December on record.
  • Fort Smith: December 2016 was the 55th warmest (42.4°F, tied 2007, 1988, 1980; since 1882) and the 15th driest (0.77"; since 1882) December on record.  Only a trace of snow fell in December. 
  • Fort Smith: No daily records were set or tied this month.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for December 2016 ranged from 0.25” to around 2”. This corresponds to only 10%-50% of the normal December rainfall for the majority of eastern OK and northwest AR. A small area of northwest AR received a little over 50% of the normal December rainfall this month, while many locations received less than 25%.
  • It was very dry across eastern OK and northwest AR during December 2016. Large temperature swings brought periods of very cold and very warm weather to the region, with the net result being near normal average temperature for the month as a whole.
  • No mainstem river flooding occurred during the month.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from December 27, 2016, D3 (Extreme Drought) conditions continued over western Pushmataha and western Choctaw Counties in southeast OK. D2 (Severe Drought) encompassed portions of Creek, Tulsa, Wagoner, Cherokee, Adair, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, McIntosh, Pittsburg, Haskell, Sequoyah, Latimer, Le Flore, Choctaw, and Pushmataha Counties in eastern OK, and Washington, Madison, Sebastian, Crawford, and Franklin Counties in west central AR. D1 (Moderate Drought) conditions existed over portions of Pawnee, Osage, Tulsa, Wagoner, Mayes, Delaware, Cherokee, and Adair Counties in eastern OK and Benton, Carroll, Washington, and Madison Counties in northwest AR. D0 (abnormally dry conditions but not in drought) were present across portions of Osage, Tulsa, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Mayes, Delaware, Craig and Ottawa Counties in eastern OK, and Carroll County in northwest AR.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, December 2016 was the 11th driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 16th driest for east central Oklahoma, and the 9th driest for southeast Oklahoma. Records go back to 1921.  For the Year 2016,  northeast Oklahoma ranked as the 17th driest, east central Oklahoma was the 11th driest, and southeast Oklahoma was the 32nd driest Year.
Year 2016
  • Rainfall totals for the year 2016 ranged from a measly 20” to 60” across eastern OK and northwest AR. The majority of the region received 25”-40”, with the lowest values occurring along the Arkansas River valley from north central OK into west central AR. This corresponds to 90% to 50% of the normal annual rainfall for the entire area for 2016. Only a few isolated locations received near normal rainfall this year. After one of the wettest years on record in 2015, dry conditions prevailed and drought conditions deteriorated in 2016 as an El Niño waned at the beginning of the year and a weak La Niña developed at the end of the year.