Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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038
AXUS97 KAMA 010435
DGTAMA
OKC007-025-139-TXC011-065-087-111-117-129-179-195-205-211-233-295-
341-357-359-375-381-393-421-483-312359-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AMARILLO TX
1133 PM CDT THU APR 30 2015

...RECENT WIDESPREAD RAINFALL IMPROVES DROUGHT CONDITIONS FOR MOST
OF THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...

SYNOPSIS...

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM)...ISSUED THROUGH THE NATIONAL DROUGHT
MITIGATION CENTER ON APRIL 28TH...CONTINUES TO DEPICT A MIX OF
SEVERE (D2) TO EXTREME (D3) DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS THE OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLE AND ALONG A LINE FROM DALLAM AND HARTLEY COUNTIES
SOUTHEASTWARD TO COLLINGSWORTH COUNTY IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. MOSTLY
MODERATE (D1) DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE DEPICTED ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF
THE TEXAS PANHANDLE...WITH AN AREA OF DEAF SMITH AND RANDALL
COUNTIES DEPICTED AT ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) CONDITIONS FOLLOWING THE
LAST SEVERAL RAIN EVENTS. NO AREAS OF EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT
REMAIN IN THE TEXAS OR OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES. CURRENT DROUGHT IMPACTS
ACROSS THE PANHANDLES ARE A MIX OF SHORT AND LONG-TERM IMPACTS...
WITH A DRY START TO SPRING WORSENING LONG-TERM DEFICITS IN SOIL
MOISTURE AND RESERVOIR LEVELS BEFORE THE SPRING RAINS BEGAN.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS.
BEFORE THE RECENT ROUNDS OF SPRING RAINS...A DRY START TO SPRING LED
TO SOME LOSSES IN THE WINTER WHEAT CROP...ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE
EASTERN HALF OF THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES. COMBINED
WITH STRETCHES OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND WINDY WEATHER...SOIL
MOISTURE LEVELS CONTINUED TO DECREASE THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF APRIL.
FOR THE NORTHWEST TEXAS PANHANDLE AND WESTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...
THESE IMPACTS ADDED ONTO SEVERAL YEARS OF POOR GROWING CONDITIONS FOR
WINTER WHEAT AND NATIVE GRASSES. ACROSS ALL BUT THE FAR WESTERN
TEXAS PANHANDLE AND NORTHWESTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...UPPER ZONE SOIL
MOISTURE IS MOSTLY GREATER THAN 40 PERCENT FULL WITH SCATTERED AREAS
RATED AT SLIGHT AGRICULTURALLY DRY (20 TO 30 PERCENT FULL). IN THE
DRIER AREAS...UPPER ZONE SOIL MOISTURE IS MODERATE AGRICULTURALLY DRY
(10 TO 20 PERCENT FULL). LOWER ZONE SOILS RANGE FROM MOSTLY 30 TO
50 PERCENT FULL ACROSS THE NORTHWEST HALF OF THE COMBINED
PANHANDLES...TO NEAR 100 PERCENT OF NORMAL ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN
HALF OF THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. THE PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY
INDEX...AN INDICATOR OF LONG-TERM DROUGHT...MAINTAINS A RATING OF
NEAR NORMAL FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION AND FOR THE OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLE AS OF APRIL 25TH. THE PALMER CROP MOISTURE INDEX...AN
INDICATOR OF SHORT-TERM DROUGHT...INDICATED SLIGHTLY DRY CONDITIONS
FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION AND FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE ON
APRIL 25TH.

ACCORDING TO THE CROP AND WEATHER REPORT ISSUED APRIL 28TH BY THE
TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE PROGRAM...THE FOLLOWING AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS WERE
NOTED ACROSS THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. TEMPERATURES WERE NEAR AVERAGE FOR
MOST OF THE PREVIOUS WEEK...WITH A TRACE TO AS MUCH AS 6 INCHES OF
RAIN RECEIVED. SOIL MOISTURE CONTINUED TO BE RATED MOSTLY ADEQUATE
TO SHORT. WHERE WEATHER PERMITTED...FARMERS WERE PREPARING SEEDBEDS
AND APPLYING PREPLANT HERBICIDES...WITH PLANTING EXPECTED TO BEGIN
WITH 1 TO 2 WEEKS. CORN PLANTING WAS ALREADY UNDERWAY. WHEAT MADE
GOOD PROGRESS IN SOME COUNTIES...WITH POTENTIAL YIELDS FOR IRRIGATED
FIELDS BETTER THAN IN RECENT YEARS. CATTLE GRAZING WAS DOING WELL
BUT SOME CATTLE WERE BEING MOVED TO GRASS. IN DEAF SMITH COUNTY...
THE WHEAT CROP SUFFERED FREEZING TEMPERATURES TO START THE WEEK AND
HAIL DAMAGE TO END THE WEEK. IN THE NORTHEAST TEXAS PANHANDLE...
LIPSCOMB COUNTY RECEIVED 1.5 TO 3 INCHES OF RAIN...WHICH HELPED
RANGELAND BUT CAME TOO LATE TO SAVE DRYLAND WHEAT. RANGELAND AND
PASTURES WERE IN POOR TO FAIR CONDITION WITH MOST COUNTIES
REPORTING GOOD TO FAIR...AND CATTLE WERE IN GOOD CONDITION.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS.
AFTER SHORT-TERM DRYNESS EARLIER THIS SPRING LED TO HIGHER THAN
NORMAL FIRE DANGER IN AREAS OF ABOVE AVERAGE FUEL LOADING...RECENT
ROUNDS OF RAIN AND HERBACEOUS GREENUP HAVE LIMITED WIDESPREAD
CONCERNS FOR FIRE DANGER. RECENT RAINFALL HAS LOWERED ENERGY RELEASE
COMPONENT (ERC) VALUES TO LESS THAN THE 50TH PERCENTILE...WITH
CURRENT ERC VALUES SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 10 AND 35.

AS OF APRIL 30TH...COUNTYWIDE OUTDOOR BURN BANS WERE SUPPORTED
IN MOORE...OLDHAM...POTTER...RANDALL...AND ARMSTRONG COUNTIES IN THE
TEXAS PANHANDLE. IN THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...NO COUNTYWIDE BURN BANS
WERE IN EFFECT.

NOTE THAT FIRE DANGER CAN CHANGE QUICKLY FROM DAY TO DAY AS WINDS AND
RELATIVE HUMIDITY VARY. THE TEXAS FOREST SERVICE ADVISES TO WATCH OUT
FOR KEY WEATHER THRESHOLDS OF 20 FOOT WINDS ABOVE 15 MPH AND RELATIVE
HUMIDITY BELOW 15 PERCENT. WHEN THESE THRESHOLDS ARE EXCEEDED...
EXPECT THE FIRE DANGER TO BE ELEVATED.

CURRENT WATER RESTRICTIONS.
SEVERAL PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS ACROSS THE PANHANDLES HAVE MAINTAINED
WATER USE WATCHES DURING THE ONGOING DROUGHT...WITH SOME OF THEM
PLACING VOLUNTARY AND EVEN MILD OR MODERATE MANDATORY RESTRICTIONS ON
USE. PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANY WATER USE RESTRICTIONS OR CONSERVATION
EFFORTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

IN RECENT WEEKS...THE SOUTHERN BRANCH OF THE JET STREAM HAS FEATURED
MORE PROMINENTLY IN WEATHER PATTERNS FOR THE SOUTHERN PLAINS THAN IN
RECENT MONTHS. AS EL NINO CONDITIONS BEGIN TO STRENGTHEN IN THE
TROPICAL PACIFIC...SEVERAL UPPER ATMOSPHERE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS
HAVE DUG INTO SOUTHWESTERN CONUS...PLACING THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLES IN AN AREA FAVORED FOR RAINFALL. THE MOST WIDESPREAD RAIN
EVENT WAS THIS PAST WEEK...BRINGING WIDESPREAD RAIN AMOUNTS OF 1 TO
3 INCHES TO THE REGION...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS REPORTED. THE
LAST 30 DAYS HAVE BROUGHT RAINFALL TOTALS RANGING FROM NEAR ONE
HALF INCH TO ONE INCH IN THE FAR WESTERN PANHANDLES TO GREATER THAN
5 TO 6 INCHES IN THE EASTERN PANHANDLES. OUT OF 121 YEARS ON
RECORD...IT WAS THE 39TH WARMEST AND 56TH DRIEST MARCH FOR THE
TEXAS HIGH PLAINS CLIMATE DIVISION. FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...IT
WAS THE 23RD WARMEST AND 57TH DRIEST MARCH OUT OF THE LAST 121
YEARS.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THROUGH THIS WEEKEND...A LOW AMPLITUDE RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT
WILL KEEP THE PANHANDLES MOSTLY WARMER AND DRIER THAN THIS LAST WEEK.
A FEW WEAK UPPER-LEVEL DISTURBANCES COULD BRING ISOLATED
THUNDERSTORMS TO MAINLY THE NORTHWESTERN HALF OF THE COMBINED
PANHANDLES. THEN THE NEXT UPPER-LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL DIG
INTO THE FOUR CORNERS REGION...INCREASING CHANCES FOR HEAVY RAIN AND
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE PANHANDLES ONCE AGAIN FOR MONDAY INTO
TUESDAY.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) IS CONTINUING AN EL NINO
ADVISORY FOR THE LIKELY CONTINUATION OF EL NINO CONDITIONS ACROSS
THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC OCEAN. THEY REPORT THAT ABOVE-AVERAGE SEA
SURFACE TEMPERATURES WERE IN PLACE ACROSS MOST OF THE EQUATORIAL
PACIFIC THROUGH EARLY APRIL...WITH THE ATMOSPHERE ALSO RESEMBLING EL
NINO CONDITIONS. ENHANCED CONVECTION CONTINUES TO SHIFT
EASTWARD INTO THE CENTRAL PACIFIC OCEAN. MORE CLIMATE MODELS ARE
SUGGESTING A CONTINUATION EL NINO CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT 2015...
HOWEVER ENSO FORECASTS CREATED DURING THE SPRING ARE HISTORICALLY
LOWER IN ACCURACY. THE CPC FORECASTS A 70 PERCENT CHANCE FOR THE
CURRENT EL NINO TO CONTINUE THROUGH AT LEAST SUMMER 2015...AND A
GREATER THAN 60 PERCENT CHANCE THAT IT WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE
AUTUMN. THERE IS CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY AT THIS TIME AS TO HOW
STRONG THIS EL NINO EVENT WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME...AND THEREFORE
EXPECTED IMPACTS REMAIN UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME. DURING EL NINO
EPISODES...THERE IS AN INCREASED CHANCE FOR NEAR OR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION DURING THE LATE FALL THROUGH FOLLOWING SPRING PERIODS
IN THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES. THE INCREASED PRECIPITATION
ALSO TENDS TO REDUCE THE CHANCE FOR EXTREMELY HIGH TEMPERATURES
ACROSS THE REGION DURING THE SPRING AND SUMMER.

THE CPC OUTLOOK FOR MAY INDICATES SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. ALSO FOR MAY...THE CPC
OUTLOOK INDICATES BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION
ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. THE CPC OUTLOOK FOR MAY THROUGH JULY INDICATES
SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE
PANHANDLES. IT ALSO INDICATES SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE
NORMAL PRECIPITATION OVER THIS TIME PERIOD. THE LATEST U.S. MONTHLY
DROUGHT OUTLOOK...ISSUED BY THE CPC...FORECASTS THAT DROUGHT
CONDITIONS WILL REMAIN BUT SHOW SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT ACROSS MOST OF
THE PANHANDLES THROUGH THE END OF MAY...WITH SOME AREAS POSSIBLY
SEEING A REMOVAL OF ALL DROUGHT CONDITIONS BY THE END OF THE MONTH.
THE LATEST U.S. SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK FORECASTS THAT DROUGHT
CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY TO SHOW SOME SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT THROUGH THE
END OF JULY.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS.
ACCORDING TO THE USGS WATERWATCH...STREAMFLOWS ARE NEAR NORMAL TO
ABOVE NORMAL ACROSS MOST OF THE TEXAS PANHANDLE...AND BELOW TO MUCH
BELOW NORMAL ACROSS THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE. THIS HAS RESULTED IN
MODERATE TO EXTREME HYDROLOGIC DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS THE OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLE. LOWER ZONE SOILS RANGE FROM EXTREME HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (1
TO 5 PERCENT FULL) TO SEVERE HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (5 TO 10 PERCENT
FULL) ACROSS THE NORTHWESTERN HALF OF THE COMBINED PANHANDLES AND
IN PORTIONS OF ARMSTRONG AND DONLEY COUNTIES...AND MOSTLY AT MODERATE
HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (10 TO 20 PERCENT FULL) TO SLIGHT HYDROLOGICALLY
DRY (20 TO 30 PERCENT FULL) ACROSS THE REST OF THE PANHANDLES.
RESERVOIRS REMAIN NEAR HISTORICALLY LOW DEPTHS.

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF MARCH 14TH...

                     CURRENT   CONSERVATION     CURRENT             %
                   ELEVATION       CAPACITY     STORAGE  CONSERVATION
RESERVOIR               (FT)        (AC-FT)     (AC-FT)      CAPACITY

PALO DURO             2832.26         61066         764          1.30
LAKE MEREDITH         2858.25        500000       27808          5.60
GREENBELT LAKE        2619.97         59968        7650         12.80

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED BY MAY 15TH...OR SOONER IF
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS OCCUR.

RELATED WEB SITES...

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS MAY BE FOUND
AT THE FOLLOWING WEB ADDRESSES (USE LOWER CASE LETTERS):

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML
NOAA DROUGHT PAGE...HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.NOAA.GOV/
OFFICE OF TEXAS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST...HTTP://WWW.MET.TAMU.EDU/OSC/
NWS HYDROLOGIC SERVICES...HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/AHPS/
USGS...HTTP://WATER.USGS.GOV/
USACE...HTTP://WWW.SWT.USACE.ARMY.MIL/
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC)...HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/
TEXAS WATER DEVELOPMENT BOARD...HTTP://WWW.TWDB.TEXAS.GOV/
TWDB RESERVOIR LEVELS...HTTP://WATERDATAFORTEXAS.ORG/
ARKANSAS-RED BASIN RIVER FORECAST CENTER...HTTP://WEATHER.GOV/ABRFC/
TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE...HTTP://AGRILIFE.ORG

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...

THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING NOAA`S
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER...THE
USDA...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTER CLIMATOLOGISTS AND THE NATIONAL
DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER. INFORMATION FOR THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN
GATHERED FROM NWS AND FAA OBSERVATION SITES...STATE COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICES...THE USDA...USACE...AND USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

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

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
1900 ENGLISH ROAD
AMARILLO TEXAS  79108
PHONE: 806-335-1121
HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/AMA

$$

FENNER






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