Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Las Vegas, NV

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AXUS75 KVEF 211951
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AZZ001>003-036-CAZ519>527-NVZ014-022-231630-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
1250 PM PDT FRI MAR 21 2014

...EXCEPTIONALLY DRY WINTER SEASON HAS DROUGHT CONDITIONS WORSENING
ACROSS PARTS OF THE SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERT...

SYNOPSIS...ANY SHORT TERM BENEFIT FROM THE PRECIPITATION THAT FELL
IN LATE FEBRUARY AND EARLY MARCH HAS DIMINISHED QUICKLY AS THE AREA
HAS EXPERIENCED A WARM AND DRY MARCH.

THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION WITH THE LATE FEBRUARY STORM DID OCCUR IN
THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA AND OWENS VALLEY...AN AREA WHICH HAS BEEN
AFFECTED THE MOST BY THE LACK OF PRECIPITATION OVER THE WINTER
SEASON. AT THE EASTERN SIERRA REGIONAL AIRPORT IN BISHOP 1.71 INCHES
OF RAIN WAS RECORDED IN THE LAST 2 DAYS OF THE MONTH. ALONG THE
EASTERN SIERRA SLOPES AROUND TWO FEET OF SNOW WAS REPORTED.
GENERALLY BETWEEN A TENTH AND A HALF AN INCH OF RAIN FELL ELSEWHERE
ACROSS THE SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERT.

THE PRECIPITATION THAT FELL IN LAS VEGAS ON FEBRUARY 28TH MARKED THE
FIRST MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION AT THE OFFICIAL CLIMATE STATION SINCE
DECEMBER 4, 2013 WHEN 0.02 INCH FELL. THAT 85 DAY STRETCH MARKED THE
LONGEST NUMBER OF CONSECUTIVE DAYS WITHOUT MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION
DURING METEOROLOGICAL WINTER (DEFINED AS THE PERIOD BETWEEN DECEMBER
1ST AND FEBRUARY 28TH/29TH).

THE LATEST U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR DEPICTS EXTREME DROUGHT ACROSS THE
EASTERN SIERRA SLOPES AND OWENS VALLEY OF INYO COUNTY. MODERATE TO
SEVERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE PRESENT ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE
SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERT. DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED TO PERSIST OR BECOME WORSE AS THERE ARE HIGHER THAN NORMAL
CHANCES OF BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE NEXT 3 MONTHS.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

FIRE WEATHER

THE FIRE SEASON MAY BE MORE ACTIVE DUE TO THE LACK OF PRECIPITATION.
LARGER/HEAVIER FUELS IN THE MOUNTAINS MAY BE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO
LARGE FIRES DUE TO THE LACK OF SNOWPACK. HOWEVER...THE LACK OF
PRECIPITATION IN THE LOWER ELEVATIONS COULD INHIBIT GROWTH OF NEW
GRASSES LEADING TO LESS FUEL LOADS TO BURN. ABOVE NORMAL SIGNIFICANT
FIRE POTENTIAL FOR MARCH AND APRIL 2014 IS POSSIBLE IN THE MOUNTAINS
AND FOOTHILLS OF CALIFORNIA. ELSEWHERE...THE OUTLOOK CALLS FOR A
NORMAL SIGNIFICANT FIRE POTENTIAL FOR THE SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN AND
MOJAVE DESERT. MAY THROUGH JUNE...ABOVE NORMAL SIGNIFICANT FIRE
POTENTIAL WILL CONTINUE IN THE CALIFORNIA MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS.
CONDITIONS ELSEWHERE HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BE ABOVE NORMAL DUE TO
CONTINUED DROUGHT.

AGRICULTURAL

THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DESIGNATED
CLARK...NYE...LINCOLN AND ESMERALDA COUNTIES IN NEVADA...MOHAVE
COUNTY IN ARIZONA AND INYO AND SAN BERNARDINO COUNTIES IN CALIFORNIA
AS PRIMARY NATURAL DISASTER AREAS DUE TO THE RECENT DROUGHT. ALL
FARM AND RANCH OPERATORS IN THOSE COUNTIES ALL QUALIFY FOR LOW
INTEREST EMERGENCY LOANS FROM THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY, PROVIDED
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.

LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS USING RANGELAND MAY NEED TO PROVIDE SUPPLEMENTAL
FEED FOR CATTLE. SOME RANCHERS IN NORTHWEST ARIZONA AND THE OWENS
VALLEY HAVE INCREASED WATER HAULS FOR LIVESTOCK.

GROUND WATER

INYO COUNTY SUPERVISORS PASSED A THREE-PAGE DROUGHT PROCLAMATION FOR
INYO COUNTY. THEY NOTED THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION BY
POINTING OUT THE VERY LOW SNOWPACK IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA, DRY WELLS
AROUND BISHOP AND CONCERNS ABOUT USE OF WATER ON THE DRY LAKE AND
THE NEED FOR LOS ANGLES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER AND INYO
COUNTY TO PLAN FOR DRY TIMES.

THE WATER TABLE ACROSS PARTS OF THE OWENS VALLY HAS FALLEN. THERE
HAS BEEN SEVERAL REPORTS OF WELLS AROUND WEST BISHOP GOING DRY.
THESE WELLS WERE QUITE SHALLOW AROUND 30 FEET DEEP. NEW WELLS ARE
BEING DRILLED AT A COST OF AROUND 20000 DOLLARS. THE LOWERING OF THE
WATER TABLE CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE LACK OF RAIN AND SNOW
RECHARGING THE AQUIFER.

WATER SUPPLY

THE 2014 WINTER/SPRING SEASON HAS A CHANCE TO BE THE DRIEST ON
RECORD FOR CALIFORNIA. FOR THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA
THE LATEST SNOW WATER EQUIVALENT AT MAMMOTH PASS STANDS AT 13.8
INCHES. THE LONG TERM MEAN FOR MID-MARCH SHOULD BE AROUND 40 INCHES.
THE LATEST APRIL-JULY VOLUME RUNOFF FOR THE AREA STANDS AT LESS THAN
50 PERCENT OF NORMAL.

THE APRIL-JULY VOLUME RUNOFF OUTLOOK FROM THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN
DID INCREASE SOME WITH THE STORM IN LATE FEBRUARY AND EARLY MARCH.
THE MARCH OUTLOOK FOR APRIL-JULY STREAMFLOW RUNOFF VOLUME INTO LAKE
POWELL STOOD AT 116 PERCENT OF NORMAL OR 8.3 MILLION ACRE-FEET. THE
WARM AND DRY WEATHER CONTINUES TO HURT THE OUTLOOK FOR THE VIRGIN
RIVER OUT OF SOUTHWEST UTAH WHERE THE APRIL-JULY STREAMFLOW RUNOFF
VOLUME STANDS AT LESS THAN 50 PERCENT OF NORMAL.

URBAN AREA DROUGHT IMPACTS

SOME LANDSCAPE VEGETATION, INCLUDING LOW WATER USAGE SPECIES SUCH AS
OLEANDERS, HAS BEGUN TO DRY OUT OR DIE IN THE LAS VEGAS VALLEY,
ESPECIALLY WHERE MINIMAL IRRIGATION TAKES PLACE.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

VERY DRY AND WARM CONDITIONS HAVE UNFORTUNATELY BEEN THE NORM THIS
WINTER. THE LACK OF STORMS HAS PRODUCED ON THE DRIEST WINTERS ON
RECORD IN CALIFORNIA WHERE SNOWPACK IS PATHETIC AND RESERVOIR
STORAGE DEPLETED. A LATE FEBRUARY - EARLY MARCH STORM PRODUCED HEAVY
SNOW IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA ALONG WITH A GOOD SOAKING RAIN IN
THE OWENS VALLEY. HOWEVER, THESE SHORT TERM BENEFITS DID LITTLE TO
EASE THE LONG TERM DROUGHT.

ARIZONA

WATER YR 2014       OCT-FEB      DEP     PCT

BEAVER DAM          1.75        -2.26     44
PIPE SPRING NM      2.51        -1.27     66
KINGMAN             1.32        -2.94     31
WIKIEUP             1.22        -4.03     23

CALIFORNIA

BISHOP              2.10        -1.42     60
DEATH VALLEY NP     0.38        -1.07     26
BARSTOW-DAGGETT     2.12        -0.23     90
NEEDLES             1.03        -1.64     39
JOSHUA TREE         0.91        -2.00     32

NEVADA

LAS VEGAS           1.72         -0.71    71
MT CHARLESTON       5.66         -8.84    39
PAHRUMP             1.04         -1.73    38
MESQUITE            1.82         -2.43    43
PIOCHE              2.49         -3.87    39
DYER                1.87         -0.40    82

DEP - DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL
PER - PERCENT OF NORMAL

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

ANY IMPROVEMENT TO OUR CONDITIONS WILL BE DIFFICULT AS WE NEAR
WARMER AND DRIER MONTHS. THE LATEST SEASONAL FORECAST (APRIL
THROUGH JUNE) FOR THE SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERT...ISSUED
BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...CALLS FOR HIGHER CHANCES FOR
BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION AND HIGHER CHANCES OF ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

THE OFFICIAL MARCH OUTLOOK FOR APRIL-JULY STREAMFLOW RUNOFF VOLUME
INTO LAKE POWELL STANDS AT 116 PERCENT OF NORMAL OR 8.3 MILLION
ACRE-FEET. THE OFFICIAL MARCH WATER SUPPLY OUTLOOK FOR THE VIRGIN
RIVER AT LITTLEFIELD FOR APRIL-JULY VOLUME RUNOFF IS 19 PERCENT OR
ABOUT 12.5 KAF.

DATA FOR RESERVOIRS ACROSS THE REGION

RESERVOIR                      PERCENT FULL

LAKE MEAD                           47   AS OF 3/19/2014
LAKE MOHAVE                         92
LAKE HAVASU                         94

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENTS ARE NORMALLY ISSUED ON THE THIRD
THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH IN WHICH EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS EXIST IN
ANY PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERT. THE NEXT
SCHEDULED ISSUANCE IS THURSDAY APRIL 17 2014. IF A SIGNIFICANT
CHANGE IN THE DROUGHT CONDITION IS ANTICIPATED...OR OCCURS PRIOR TO
THIS DATE...AN UPDATED STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED.

&&

RELATED WEBSITES...

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING WEB SITES:

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR
DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM
WWW.DROUGHT.GOV

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE     WATER.WEATHER.GOV/AHPS
USGS                         WATER.USGS.GOV/
COLORADO BASIN RFC           WWW.CBRFC.NOAA.GOV
CALIFORNIA-NEVADA RFC        WWW.CNRFC.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL SITES:

NEVADA DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES   WATER.NV.GOV
CALIFORNIA DEPT OF WATER RESOURCES   WWW.WATER.CA.GOV
ARIZONA DEPT OF WATER RESOURCES      WWW.AZWATER.GOV

NEVADA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE          WWW.CLIMATE.UNR.EDU
CALIFORNIA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE      WWW.CLIMATE.WATER.CA.GOV
ARIZONA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE         AZCLIMATE.ASU.EDU
WESTERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER        WWW.WRCC.DRI.EDU

NWS FORECAST OFFICE LAS VEGAS        WEATHER.GOV/LASVEGAS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL AND WESTERN REGIONAL CLIMATIC
DATA CENTERS...THE USDA...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTER CLIMATOLOGISTS
AND THE NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...PLEASE CONTACT:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - LAS VEGAS
PHONE...702-263-9744
W-VEF.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

WFO LAS VEGAS








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