2002 Annual

Thursday, 17 January 2002: 3:45 PM
A Soil Moisture Analysis of the Drought of 1998 using the Oklahoma Mesonet
Brad G. Illston, Oklahoma Climatological Survey, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK; and J. B. Basara and K. C. Crawford
The drought of 1998 had a profound impact on the state of Oklahoma. It became very evident in the data from surface based instrumentation. This study focuses on the subterranean analysis of this hydrologic event. The Oklahoma Mesonet has soil moisture sensors at 101 sites and four depths across the state, which provide observations every 30 minutes. One key aspect of this study is that an above average wet season was recorded before and after the drought event. Through use of data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the impact of the drought on soil conditions was quantified. In addition, the lag time between the start of the drought and its impact at different soil depths was determined for individual sites. Finally, the recharge time between the conclusion of the meteorological drought and the replenishment of soil water at various depths was investigated.

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