Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Little Rock, AR

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AXUS74 KLZK 140320
DGTLZK
ARC001-005-009-011-013-019-023-025-029-039-041-043-045-049-051-053-
059-063-065-067-069-071-079-083-085-089-095-097-101-103-105-109-113-
115-117-119-125-127-129-135-137-141-145-147-149-141800-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
900 PM CST MON FEB 13 2017

...SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS...

SYNOPSIS...

IT WAS DRY IN NORTHWEST ARKANSAS IN 2016...AND THERE HAS NOT BEEN
MUCH PRECIPITATION THIS WINTER. GIVEN DRY VEGETATION...WILDFIRES
HAVE BEEN FAIRLY COMMON LATELY IN PORTIONS OF THE OZARK AND OUACHITA
MOUNTAINS OF THE NORTH AND WEST...AND DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE SLOWLY
WORSENED.

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT
HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU. IT IS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT BETWEEN
SEVERAL GOVERNMENT AND ACADEMIC PARTNERS. THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR
IS ISSUED EACH THURSDAY MORNING AND TAKES INTO ACCOUNT HYDRO-
METEOROLOGICAL DATA THROUGH 7 AM TUESDAY. THERE ARE FOUR LEVELS OF
DROUGHT: D1 /MODERATE/...D2 /SEVERE/...D3 /EXTREME/...AND D4
/EXCEPTIONAL/.

THE LATEST U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...VALID FEBRUARY 7TH 2017...
INDICATED D2 /15 PERCENT COVERAGE/ AND SOME D3 /2 PERCENT COVERAGE/
CONDITIONS. THESE CONDITIONS AFFECTED MAINLY NORTHWEST ARKANSAS...
INCLUDING AREAS FROM FORT SMITH /SEBASTIAN COUNTY/ AND WALDRON
/SCOTT COUNTY/ NORTHEAST THROUGH PARIS /LOGAN COUNTY/...JASPER
/NEWTON COUNTY/...MARSHALL /SEARCY COUNTY/...CALICO ROCK /IZARD
COUNTY/...AND SALEM /FULTON COUNTY/.

CLIMATE DATA AND ANALYSIS...

A WEAK LA NINA /COOLER THAN NORMAL WATER ALONG THE EQUATOR IN
THE PACIFIC OCEAN/ DEVELOPED DURING THE FALL AND WINTER MONTHS.
THIS OFTEN RESULTS IN MILD AND DRY CONDITIONS ACROSS THE
SOUTHERN UNITED STATES...AND THAT IS WHAT HAS TAKEN PLACE
LOCALLY.

IT WAS THE SECOND WARMEST AND THIRTEENTH DRIEST FALL ON RECORD
SINCE 1895. AVERAGE TEMPERATURES WERE FOUR TO FIVE DEGREES ABOVE
NORMAL...AND PRECIPITATION WAS FOUR TO FIVE INCHES BELOW AVERAGE.
FREEZES ARE TYPICALLY FELT IN PARTS OF NORTHERN ARKANSAS BY LATE
OCTOBER...BUT NOT IN 2016. VEGETATION WAS SLOW TO GO DORMANT...SO
GROUND WATER CONSUMPTION WAS ELEVATED.

IN THE LAST NINETY DAYS...WHICH INCLUDES MUCH OF THIS WINTER...IT
REMAINED DRY NORTH AND WEST OF LITTLE ROCK. IN CLIMATE DISTRICTS
ONE /NORTHWEST ARKANSAS/...TWO /NORTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS/...AND FOUR
/WEST CENTRAL ARKANSAS/...PRECIPITATION TOTALS WERE FOUR TO SIX
INCHES BELOW AVERAGE...AND FIFTY TO SIXTY PERCENT OF NORMAL.

PRECIPITATION FROM NOVEMBER 14TH 2016 THROUGH FEBRUARY 11TH 2017...

SITE                         AMOUNT   DEPARTURE  PCT OF NORMAL

CLIMATE DISTRICT 1 /NW AR/    5.31      -4.51         54
CLIMATE DISTRICT 2 /NC AR/    6.43      -5.56         54
CLIMATE DISTRICT 3 /WC AR/    7.08      -4.82         60

FOR THE YEAR 2016...THE NORTHWEST WAS THE DRIEST SECTION OF THE
STATE. RAINFALL DEFICITS WERE MOSTLY BETWEEN TEN AND FIFTEEN
INCHES.

PRECIPITATION IN 2016...

SITE                         AMOUNT   DEPARTURE  PCT OF NORMAL

FAYETTEVILLE /NW AR/          33.37     -15.14        69
HARRISON /NC AR/              35.41      -8.73        80
JONESBORO /NE AR/             52.56      +4.46       109
FORT SMITH /WC AR/            31.18     -14.28        69
LITTLE ROCK /C AR/            56.12      +6.37       113
WEST MEMPHIS /EC AR/          53.02      +0.79       102
TEXARKANA /SW AR/             49.33      -0.32        99
EL DORADO /SC AR/             61.64      +8.72       116
PINE BLUFF /SE AR/            54.38      +3.23       106

SOIL MOISTURE/HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY/FIRE DANGER...

THERE WAS A HIGH WILDFIRE DANGER IN 22 OF 75 COUNTIES
AS OF FEBRUARY 13TH. THESE COUNTIES WERE IN NORTHERN ARKANSAS.
THERE WERE SIXTEEN BURN BANS POSTED.

SOIL MOISTURE WAS WELL BELOW AVERAGE IN MUCH OF THE NORTH.
VALUES WERE IN THE 10TH PERCENTILE OR LESS /30TH TO 70TH
PERCENTILE IS NORMAL/.

STREAMFLOW ALONG AREA TRIBUTARIES WAS SUBPAR AT MOST SITES...
BUT WAS ESPECIALLY LOW IN THE NORTHWEST HALF OF THE STATE.
VALUES IN THE NORTHWEST WERE IN THE 10TH TO 24TH PERCENTILE...
BUT LESS THAN THE 10TH PERCENTILE AT MULTIPLE LOCATIONS /25TH
TO 75TH PERCENTILE IS NORMAL/.

FORECAST...

IN THE SHORT TERM...THERE WILL LIKELY BE AT LEAST TWO ROUNDS OF
WIDESPREAD RAIN THROUGH FEBRUARY 20TH. THE PATTERN WILL BE FAIRLY
PROGRESSIVE...SO STORM SYSTEMS WILL NOT LINGER FOR MORE THAN A DAY
OR TWO. BECAUSE OF THIS...AMOUNTS WILL PROBABLY NOT BE EXCESSIVE.

LOOKING AHEAD...IT APPEARS WE ARE TRANSITIONING FROM LA NINA TO
NEUTRAL OR WEAK EL NINO /WARMER THAN NORMAL WATER ALONG THE
EQUATOR IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN/ CONDITIONS. THIS MAY INFLUENCE
WHAT IS TO COME THIS SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER. WHEN SUCH A
TRANSITION HAPPENED IN PREVIOUS YEARS...RAINFALL IN ARKANSAS
WAS BELOW AVERAGE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT.

YEARS               MARCH THROUGH JUNE            DEPARTURE

1951                      15.31                     -3.73
1968                      25.27                     +6.23
1985                      17.50                     -1.54
1996                      16.35                     -2.69
2012                      12.72                     -6.32

THE LATEST OUTLOOK FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER CALLS FOR
EQUAL CHANCES OF ABOVE AVERAGE...BELOW AVERAGE...AND NEAR NORMAL
PRECIPITATION IN ARKANSAS IN THE COMING MONTHS. UNLESS THERE
IS SURPLUS LIQUID IN DROUGHT STRICKEN AREAS /ESPECIALLY THE
NORTHWEST COUNTIES/...THE ONGOING DROUGHT WILL CONTINUE.

&&

RELATED WEBSITES...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK HOMEPAGE:
HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/LZK

DROUGHT INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO WFO LITTLE ROCK CWA
HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/LZK/DROUGHT.HTM

NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM:
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.GOV

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR:
HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

DROUGHT IMPACT REPORTER:
HTTP://DROUGHTREPORTER.UNL.EDU

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

SOUTHERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER:
HTTP://WWW.SRCC.LSU.EDU/

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY:
HTTP://WWW.USGS.GOV/WATER

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS DROUGHT INFORMATION
STATEMENT PLEASE CONTACT:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE
8400 REMOUNT ROAD
NORTH LITTLE ROCK AR 72118

PHONE: 501-834-0308
EMAIL: SR-LZK.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

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