Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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AXUS74 KAMA 311542
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OKC007-025-139-TXC011-065-087-111-117-129-179-195-205-211-233-295-
341-357-359-375-381-393-421-483-021545-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
942 AM CST Wed Jan 31 2018

...Extreme to Severe drought conditions have expanded across the
Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles as a result of below normal
precipitation...


Synopsis...

As a result of the latest U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) update
released on January 23rd, Extreme Drought (D3) conditions have
expanded into additional counties in Texas. Severe Drought (D2)
conditions have expanded to encompass the rest of the combined
Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. Overall, the conditions across the
Panhandles have worsen due to the lack of precipitation, and every
county is in either severe or extreme drought conditions.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Amarillo covers 23 counties
which includes all of the Oklahoma Panhandle and all of the Texas
Panhandle.

There are 5 levels of intensity with regards to the USDM and those
levels are as follows:

D0 - Abnormally Dry
D1 - Moderate Drought
D2 - Severe Drought
D3 - Extreme Drought
D4 - Exceptional Drought

The USDM releases a weekly product each Thursday morning and is
produced through a partnership between the National Drought
Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA). The USDM is based on measurements of
climatic, hydrologic, and soil conditions as well as reported
impacts and observations.

The local Drought Information Statement is issued by the NWS office
in Amarillo when needed to supplement the national USDM product.
Local statements may be issued bi-weekly during times when the USDM
indicates severe drought conditions or as local conditions warrant.


Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions:
No known state or local actions are currently in place at this time.

Agricultural Impacts:
Both Texas Agrilife Extension agents across the Texas Panhandle
and agents of the USDA Farm Service Agencies in the Oklahoma
Panhandle are seeing similar issues of top soil being extremely
dry and subsoil not showing much moisture either. This is causing
huge impacts to winter wheat that isn`t on some form of irrigation
where wheat has shown to be going backwards to the point of
almost being unable to recover.

Fire Impacts:
Near to above normal precipitation this past spring and summer has
resulted in above normal fuel loading. Drought conditions that began
in October 2017 and persisted into this month along with cured fuels
have increased the significant fire danger potential this winter.
The Energy Release Component (ERC) values have now climbed back to
around the 90th percentile and are likely to remain between the 75th
and 90th percentile between 55 and 65 over the next week or so with
mainly near or above normal temperatures and continued dry
conditions.

As of January 29, countywide outdoor burn bans were supported in
Dallam, Sherman, Ochiltree, Lipscomb, Hartley, Moore, Hutchinson,
Roberts, Hemphill, Oldham, Potter, Carson, Gray, Wheeler, Deaf
Smith, Randall, Armstrong, Donley, and Collingsworth counties in the
Texas Panhandle. In the Oklahoma Panhandle, Cimarron, Texas and
Beaver counties were in countywide burn bans.

Note that the fire danger conditions can change quickly from day to
day as 20 foot winds and minimum afternoon relative humidities vary.
The Texas A&M Forest Service advises to watch out for key weather
thresholds of 20 foot winds above 15 to 20 mph and relative
humidities below 15 to 20 percent. When these thresholds are
exceeded, expect the fire danger conditions to increase to elevated
and critical.


Climate Summary...

Since the last drought statement, little to no precipitation has
fallen in the last two weeks. Several of our climate sites are
showing around an 1.00" to almost 1.50" of precipitation below
normal since December 1st.


Precipitation Outlook...

Overall, there is little to no chance for precipitation in the next
7 days across the combined Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles.

Across the NWS Amarillo area, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
outlook shows below normal probability for precipitation in the 6-10
day and 8-14 day periods.

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

Area reservoirs are below conservation levels and stream flows are
near normal with a few rivers and creeks running slightly below
normal in the eastern Panhandle.

Next Issuance Date...

The drought information statement may be updated on February 14th,
2018, or sooner if significant chances in drought conditions occur.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:

US Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

US Drought Information System:
http://www.drought.gov

Climate Prediction Center
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

NOAA Drought Page:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Drought

National Weather Service Amarillo:
http://weather.gov/ama

Texas A&M AgriLife:
https://agrilife.org

Oklahoma Agriculture Food and Forestry:
https://www.oda.state.ok.us

Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center
http://weather.gov/abrfc/DROUGHT

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District
http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil

ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...

National Weather Service:
http://water.weather.gov

US Geological Survey:
http://water.usgs.gov

US Army Corps of Engineers:
http://www.usace.army.mil

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...

The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the
National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental
Information, the USDA, state and regional center climatologists
and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this
statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites,
state cooperative extension services, the USDA, USACE and USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement, please contact:

National Weather Service
1900 English Road
Amarillo, TX 79108
Phone...806-335-1121
sr-ama.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$



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