Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tulsa, OK

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AXUS74 KTSA 191927
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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service TULSA OK
127 PM CST Fri Jan 19 2018

...Moderate to extreme drought continues across much of eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas...

Synopsis...

Much of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas remains in
moderate to extreme drought as below normal precipitation
continues.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) valid January 16,
2018, Severe (D2) Drought conditions covered portions of
Okfuskee, McIntosh, Muskogee, Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah, Haskell,
Le Flore, Latimer, and Pittsburg Counties in eastern Oklahoma,
and Washington, Madison, Carroll, Crawford, Franklin, and
Sebastian Counties in northwest Arkansas.

Moderate (D1) Drought conditions were present in portions of
Osage, Pawnee, Washington, Creek, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Muskogee,
Wagoner, Mayes, Cherokee, Adair, Delaware, Le Flore, Pushmataha,
and Choctaw Counties in Eastern Oklahoma, and Benton, Carroll,
Washington, and Madison Counties in Northwest Arkansas.

Abnormally Dry (D0) but not experiencing drought conditions exist
over parts of Osage, Pawnee, Creek, Tulsa, Washington, Wagoner,
Rogers, Nowata, Craig, Mayes, Ottawa, and Delaware Counties in
northeast Oklahoma and Benton County in northwest AR.

The USDM is a collaborative effort between several government and
academic partners. It is a weekly national product issued on
Thursday morning using data collected through the previous Tuesday
morning, so it does not consider precipitation which has fallen
after the data cut-off time.

There are five levels of intensity depicted on the USDM. The USDM
levels are the following: D0 - Abnormally Dry (not in drought but
showing dryness) D1 - Moderate Drought D2 - Severe Drought D3 -
Extreme Drought D4 - Exceptional Drought

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


Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions:
The Oklahoma State Climate Office (Oklahoma Climatological
Survey, OCS) hosts recorded briefings focused on the current
conditions, impacts, and outlooks for drought conditions across
the Southern Plains. Updated drought briefings are available at
www.youtube.com/user/SCIPP01

Soil Moisture Impact:
The OCS daily averaged fractional water index for January 18, 2018
shows values of 0.8 to 1.0 (where 1.0 is saturated and 0.0 is
completely dry) at 10 and 24 inches below ground across much of
eastern Oklahoma. Values at 2 and 4 inches below ground were
unavailable due to frozen soil conditions.

As of January 19, 2018, the Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast
Center (ABRFC) gridded soil moisture indicates that the upper
zone, which responds to short term rainfall, is greater than 40
percent full across all of eastern Okalhoma and northwest
Arkansas, except for Osage and Pawnee Counties, where it was 10 to
40 percent full. This represents neutral to moderately
agriculturally dry conditions in Osage and Pawnee Counties. These
values corresponds to 30 to 90 percent of normal in Osage and
Pawnee Counties and 70 to 110 percent of normal elsewhere. The
lower zone was primarily 30 to greater than 40 percent full, with
scattered areas of 10 to 30 percent full. This represents neutral
conditions with scattered areas of slight to moderate
hydrologically dry conditions. These lower zone anomalies were 30
to 90 percent of normal across eastern Oklahoma and northwest
Arkansas.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calculated soil moisture
anomaly analysis as of January 18, 2018 showed soil moisture was
40-120 mm (1.6-4.7 inches) below normal across eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas.

Fire Impacts:
No burn bans were in effect as of January 19, 2018. A large
wildfire of approximately 700 acres occurred on January 18 in
Latimer County. According to the Oklahoma Forestry Services, fuel
load is high now due to cured dense vegetation from earlier in
2017, plus dried out winter fuels due to the more recent below
normal rainfall. When weather conditions are conducive for fire,
wildfire concerns will be high due to this primed fuel load.

Agriculture:
42 percent of the winter wheat in Oklahoma was rated very poor to
poor as of December 31, 2017 according to the USDA, and only 15
percent of the winter wheat was rated good to excellent. On
December 26, 2017, a gentleman in Osage County, who owns tens of
thousands of acres, told Osage County FSA that even though he has
some pond water available (due to cleaning out his ponds during
the drought of 2011/2012), it is getting dry and he is concerned.


Climate Summary...

Over the past 7 days, a few hundredths of an inch of precipitation
fell near the Oklahoma/Kansas border, across far southeast
Oklahoma and across northwest Arkansas. Portions of Craig and
Ottawa Counties received 0.10 to 0.50 inches of rain.

In the last 30 days, rainfall totals have ranged from around 0.10
in western Osage County to around 2.5 inches in far southeast
Oklahoma, which corresponds to around 10 percent to around 75
percent of normal.

According to OCS, for the last 30 days ending January 18, 2018,
northeast Oklahoma ranks as the 32nd driest period since records
began in 1921. East central Oklahoma ranks as the 39th driest and
southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 38th driest. Since the beginning
of the Water Year (October 1, 2017), northeast Oklahoma ranks as
the 39th driest, east central Oklahoma ranks as the 21st driest,
and southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 15th driest.


Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

Near to above normal temperatures are expected for the next 7
days. There is a chance for rain on Sunday, with the highest
chances across southeast Oklahoma and western Arkansas.

The CPC 8-14 Day Outlook calls for an increased chance for above
normal temperatures and above normal rainfall across eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.

Beyond this period, the CPC outlook for February 2018 (issued
January 18, 2018) indicates an equal chance for above, near, and
below median precipitation. There is a slightly enhanced chance
for above normal temperatures across far southeast Oklahoma, and
equal chances for above, near, and below normal temperatures
across the remainder of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.


Hydrologic Summary And Outlook...

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), the majority
of the area reservoirs were near the top of their conservation
pools. The following reservoirs were operating at more than 5
percent below the conservation pool level as of January 19, 2018:
Ft. Gibson Lake 42 percent, Eufaula Lake 74 percent, Keystone Lake
76 percent, Tenkiller Lake 77 percent, Beaver Lake 79 percent, and
Hulah Lake 94 percent.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 7-day average
streamflow was near to below normal across all of the river
basins in eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. A few rivers
were also much below normal, with streamflow less than the tenth
percentile.


Next Issuance Date...

This product will be updated on February 16, 2018 or sooner if
significant changes in drought conditions occur.


Related Websites...

U.S. Drought Portal
http://www.drought.gov

U.S. Drought Monitor
http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

National Weather Service Tulsa
http://weather.gov/tulsa/drought_info
http://weather.gov/tulsa

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

Oklahoma Climatological Survey Drought Tools
http://climate.ok.gov/index.php/climate/category/drought_wildfire

Arkansas Forestry Commission
http://www.forestry.state.ar.us

Oklahoma Forestry Commission
http://www.forestry.ok.gov

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

U.S. Geological Survey Realtime Data
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt

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


Acknowledgments...

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a collaborative effort between
several government and academic partners including the NWS, the
National Climatic Data Center, the USDA, state and regional
climatologists, and the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Information for this statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA
observation sites, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the USACE
and the USGS.

Questions or Comments...

If you have any questions or comments about this drought
information statement, please contact,

National Weather Service Tulsa
10159 E. 11th St. Suite 300
Tulsa Oklahoma 74128
Phone:   918-838-7838
Email:   sr-tsa.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$



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