Issued by NWS West Gulf RFC
AGUS74 KFWR 181706
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...WEST GULF RFC...FORT WORTH TX
1106 AM CST WED DEC 18 2013
VALID DECEMBER 18 THROUGH DECEMBER 23
...SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION WILL RETURN FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...
A zonal flow aloft will keep the mild weather in the forecast for the
next few days. This upper pattern will transition to one more
favorable for precipitation by the end of the week. A strong
Pacific storm system will dive south down the coast before moving
onshore south of California. The upper pattern will become more
southwesterly aloft. This pattern will tap into deep Pacific
moisture, almost a "Pineapple Express" set up, and will spread this
moisture over the WGRFC area.
Light precipitation is possible early Friday. Precipitation will
become more enhanced and widespread throughout the day Friday. The
previously mentioned Pacific storm will continue to steadily move
east. At this time, a fairly strong surface cold front will move
down the plains and into the WGRFC area. As the upper level storm
crosses over/behind the front, large scale lift will tap into the
deep moisture, generating showers and thunderstorms for New Mexico
and Far West Texas. The focus for heavier rainfall will shift
eastward as the upper level storm moves eastward, with North and
Northeast Texas in the more favorable zone for significant
By Sunday, the upper level Pacific storm and the cold front will
clear the area, effectively ending the precipitation across the
We are seeing trends in the meteorological models of the
precipitation becoming heavier and more widespread. If this trend
continues, confidence will increase the possibility of significant
rainfall (possibly producing responses in area rivers) this weekend.
With soils somewhat saturated from recent events and most vegetation
dormant this time of year, it will not take as significant of a
rainfall event to generate river responses. We will continue to
monitor and will update accordingly.
For Today into Thursday morning, no significant Mean Areal
Precipitation (MAP) amounts are forecast for the WGRFC area.
For Thursday into Friday morning, no significant MAP amounts are
forecast for the WGRFC area.
For Friday into Saturday morning, MAP amounts of 0.50 to 1 inch are
forecast from El Paso through the Midland/Odessa area to Childress.
MAP amounts of 0.25 inch or less are forecast for the remainder of
Texas and for all of New Mexico.
For Saturday into Monday morning, MAP amounts of 1 to 1.5 inches are
forecast for North Texas. MAP amounts of 0.25 to 0.50 inch are
forecast for Northern New Mexico, and for the remainder of Texas.
Lighter MAP amounts are expected for the remainder of New Mexico and
The drought situation in Texas has shown some improvement in recent
months, with less than 6% of the state now in extreme drought. New
Mexico has improved as well with only 4% of that state in extreme
drought. However, all of New Mexico and 74% of Texas still remain in
some level of drought category. Forecast rainfall could help the
drought conditions across New Mexico and Northern Texas. Reservoir
data in Texas indicates a significant improvement during the past
few months in some areas of Texas, particularly in eastern Texas and
on the Nueces and Guadalupe Rivers in southern and central Texas.
However, reservoirs on the Frio River, Medina River, Colorado River,
Brazos River, and upper Trinity River are typically below levels one
year ago at this time and comparable to levels in December 2011.
Some reservoirs in these areas are lower than in 2011.
All WGRFC area rivers are below bank full. Eastern Texas soil
conditions remain fairly saturated and with little vegetation will
cause rapid runoff. Significant rainfall is possible over East
Texas and could generate river rises. Widespread mainstem river
flooding is not expected for the next 5 days.
...SUPPLEMENTARY GRAPHICAL INFORMATION...
The following URLs (all lower case) provide additional graphical
information on current and forecast hydrologic conditions, past and
future precipitation, and drought and climate forecasts. This
information is provided by a variety of National Weather Service,
NOAA, and private sector entities.
For specific information on river conditions, refer to the AHPS
pages from the local NWS offices at:
The Flood Potential Outlook can be viewed on our webpage at:
The West Gulf River Forecast Center is now on Facebook:
National Precipitation Analysis:
The forecast rainfall amounts (QPF) can be viewed on our webpage at:
The US Drought Assessment:
The latest on Reservoir Information for Texas: