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Climate Change in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK-- Two years of dry conditions have taken a toll on the state, and climatologists warn Oklahomans to prepare for the long haul. As the drought extends through another year, some parts of Lake Thunderbird have reduced to nothing.
The water supply dwindles each day in Cleveland County, and many farmers, like Sid Calvert, are praying for rain.
"If we don't get rain in the next 30 days, everything I planted, probably won't make it this year," said Calvert.
Calvert has been a farmer and rancher his whole life-- he makes his living selling hay.
"My production is way, way down, two thirds down," he explained.
Calvert's case is just one of many. The Department of Agriculture says Oklahoma's agricultural industry suffered an estimated $2 Billion loss since the drought began.
"We weren't prepared for 2011," said Jim Reese, Secretary of Agriculture.
Reese says many farmers, ranchers, and producers found ways to make due the past two years, but climatologists warn weather patterns reflect the possibility of an extended drought.
"If you're looking at the first two years of the Dust Bowl, 1930's drought, or the first two years of the 50's drought, this is pretty much what it looked like," said Gary McMannus, Associate State Climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.
McMannus says while it's too soon to tell how long the drought will last, dryer conditions and global warming may take a toll on the state.
"As the world continues to warm, it could disrupt our precipitation patterns," he explained.
Calvert says no rain in Oklahoma could mean losing the farm his family has run for 77-years.
"I can't continue operating like I'm going," said Calvert.
Although climate change stirs some concern-- the Department of Agriculture emphasizes Oklahoma always adapts.
"There's never been two years that have been alike," said Reese.
Despite cautious optimism from the Department of Agriculture, climatologists say now is the time to learn from the Dust Bowl and other extended droughts.
"These longer period droughts have occurred in our past,"said McMannus, "and it's better to be prepared beforehand than try and react when the drought is too severe to relay some of those fears."
While losing the farm could be reason to fear-- Calvert stays focused on the present.
"If you worry about it, you'll wind up with ulcers," he said laughing.
With his best friend, Dixie the Dog, at his side, all he can control is day to day matters at Calvert Farms.
"Mother nature will take care of us," said Calvert.
Posted: Friday, February 1 2013, 10:12 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Tornado hits OKC suburb, kicking up debris
May 19, 2013 22:29 GMT
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) -- A tornado kicked up debris in an Oklahoma City suburb and threatened a number of tourist attractions on historic Route 66 before growing into a larger storm that rolled across rural parts of central Oklahoma.
Television footage Sunday showed a tornado at Edmond . The storm threatened a novelty soda-pop store and a historic barn in the small town of Arcadia, then grew into a larger storm as it moved northeastward a few miles north of the Turner Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
The Storm Prediction Center had forecast a moderate risk of severe weather in Oklahoma and adjacent portions of Kansas and Missouri.
TV video also showed power flashes from transformers blowing out as they were hit by high winds or debris.
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