Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tulsa, OK

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service TULSA OK
245 PM CST Fri Mar 10 2017

...Drought conditions expand and encompass all of eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas...

Synopsis...

Drought conditions continued to expand over the last few weeks,
with severe to extreme drought encompassing all of eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor /USDM/ valid March 7, 2017,
Extreme Drought /D3/ conditions were present over large parts of
Crawford, Sebastian, and Franklin Counties in west central
Arkansas.

Severe /D2/ Drought conditions encompass portions of Osage, Pawnee,
Creek, Tulsa, Rogers, Wagoner, Cherokee, Adair, Muskogee,
Okfuskee, Okmulgee, McIntosh, Pittsburg, Haskell, Sequoyah,
Latimer, Le Flore, Choctaw, and Pushmataha Counties in eastern
Oklahoma, and Washington, Madison, Carroll, Sebastian, Crawford,
and Franklin Counties in west central Arkansas.

Moderate /D1/ Drought conditions cover portions of Osage,
Washington, Nowata, Craig, Ottawa, Rogers, Mayes, Delaware,
Muskogee, Okmulgee, Okfuskee, McIntosh, and Pittsburg Counties in
eastern Oklahoma and Benton and Carroll Counties in northwest
Arkansas.

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 by-weekly during times
when the USDM indicates severe drought conditions or as local
conditions warrant.


Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions: The Governor of Oklahoma has declared a
State of Emergency due to wildfires and critical fire weather
conditions for several counties in Oklahoma, including Pawnee and
Osage Counties in northeast Oklahoma. 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 March 9, 2017
shows values of 0.8 to 1.0 (where 1.0 is saturated and 0.0 is
completely dry) at 2, 4, 10, and 24 inches below ground across
eastern Oklahoma. However, a few isolated areas had values of 0.5
to 0.8, and deeper in the soil at 24 inches below ground, a few
locations had values ranged from 0.3 to 0.6.

As of March 10, 2017, 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 eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. This
represents neutral conditions and corresponds to 70 to 150
percent of normal. Areas northeast of I-44 were lowest at 70 to
100 percent of normal. The lower zone was 20 to greater than 40
percent full, representing slight hydrologically dry to neutral
conditions. These lower zone anomalies were 30 to 100 percent of
normal across eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. A large
portion of the region was 30 to 70 percent of normal.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calculated soil moisture
anomaly analysis as of March 9, 2017 showed soil moisture was
20-120 mm (0.79-4.7 inches) below normal across eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas. The greatest deficits were located
southeast of I-44 in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.

Fire Impacts:
County declared burn bans were in effect for Creek, Tulsa, Rogers,
Wagoner, Okmulgee, Muskogee, McIntosh, Haskell, and Sequoyah
Counties in eastern Oklahoma, and Carroll and Madison Counties in
northwest Arkansas. Numerous fires have occurred over the past few
weeks due to early warmth, lack of rain, and windy conditions.
100 and 1,000 hours fuels are critically dry and have contributed
to increasing fire intensity and longer duration fires. According
to the Arkansas Forestry Commission, wildfire danger was
classified as Moderate across northwest Arkansas as of March 10,
2017. Recent large fires in eastern Oklahoma include 497 acres in
Latimer County, 200 acres in Delaware County, and 100 acres in
Adair County according the the Oklahoma Forestry Services March
10, 2017 fire situation report.

Agriculture:
According to the Wagoner-Mayes Counties Farm Service Agency, these
counties have experienced wheat losses due to drought. Ponds are
still dry and producers are hauling in water. Ranchers in Oklahoma
and Arkansas are selling off or relocating cattle. According to
the USDA Farm Service Agency, on February 23, 2017, Crawford,
Franklin, Madison, Sebastian, and Washington Counties in Arkansas
and Adair, Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Haskell, Latimer, Le Flore,
McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pittsburg,
Pushmataha, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, and Wagoner Counties have
been declared primary disaster areas due to losses caused by
drought conditions.


Climate Summary...

Over the past 7 days, two storm systems brought 0.10 to around
2.5 inches of rain to eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas,
with the highest totals from southeast Oklahoma northeast into
northwest Arkansas.

In the last 30 days, rainfall totals have ranged from 0.50 to 6
inches, with the lowest totals of 0.50 to 1.5 inches occurring
northwest of I-44. February 2017 ranked as the second warmest
February on record in Tulsa, and the record warmest February in
Fort Smith and Fayetteville.

According to OCS, for the last 30 days ending March 9, 2017,
northeast Oklahoma ranks as the 34th driest period since records
began in 1921. East central Oklahoma ranks as the 30th wettest
and southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 38th wettest. Since the
beginning of the Water Year (October 1, 2016), northeast Oklahoma
ranks as the 40th driest, east central Oklahoma ranks as the 17th
driest, and southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 9th driest.

Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

For the upcoming week, rain is likely across eastern Oklahoma and
northwest Arkansas tomorrow. There will be another chance for
rain Sunday night and a slight chance on Thursday. A series of
cold fronts will keep temperatures below normal for the next 7
days.

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

Beyond this period, the CPC outlook for March 2017 (issued
February 28, 2017) indicates a significantly enhanced chance for
above normal temperatures across all of eastern Oklahoma and
northwest Arkansas. This outlook also calls for an enhanced chance
for below median rainfall over northeast Oklahoma and equal
chances for above, near, and below median rainfall across the
remainder of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.


Hydrologic Summary And Outlook...

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), area
reservoirs were at or below the top of their conservation pools.
The following reservoirs were operating at more than 5 percent
below the conservation pool level as of March 10, 2017: Heyburn
Lake 48 percent, Eufaula Lake 73 percent, Beaver Lake 73 percent,
Tenkiller Lake 74 percent, Birch Lake 85 percent, and Skiatook
Lake 86 percent.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 7-day average
streamflow was below to much below normal across far eastern
Oklahoma and western Arkansas as of March 9, 2017. The streamflow
is the lowest value for the day of the year along the James Fork
near Hackett and the Fouche Maline near Red Oak. Much below
normal conditions were occurring along Flint Creek near
Springtown and near Kansas, Spavinaw Creek near Sycamore, Baron
Fork at Eldon, and the Spring River near Quapaw.


Next Issuance Date...

This product will be updated on April 14, 2017 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://www.weather.gov/tulsa/drought_info
http://www.weather.gov/tulsa

Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center
http://www.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.dorestry.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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