By Gary McManus, State Clima- tologist — Fears of the strengthening drought and associated wildfire danger, so prevalent through the first three months of the year, last- ed about a week into April before Mother Nature unleashed spring on Oklahoma. Flooding, gigantic hail, severe winds and a final week filled with the threat of tornadoes were all in the offing during the month. The drought was quenched in most parts of the state by repeated storm systems. According to preliminary data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the robust moisture propelled April to rank as the seventh wettest on record, dating back to 1895. The statewide average of 6.11 inches was nearly 3 inches above normal. Regional ranks ranged from the third wettest April for southwest- ern Oklahoma to the 27th wettest in east central parts of the state. Broken Bow led the Mesonet’s to- tals with 16.95 inches while Arnett had a more modest 2.23 inches. A few pockets in far western and east central Oklahoma had below normal rainfall and remained a concern for droughty conditions due to deficits that date to the beginning of the year. The month was also the 39th warmest April on record at 1.5 de- grees above normal. Altus recorded a statewide high of 92 degrees on the 25th. Boise City recorded the last freeze of the month with 32 degrees on the 18th.

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