Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tulsa, OK
AXUS74 KTSA 141638
Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service TULSA OK
1138 AM CDT Fri Apr 14 2017
...Moderate to severe drought conditions continue over much of eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas...
Drought conditions improved since last month, but moderate to
severe drought conditions continued over much of eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor /USDM/ valid April 11,
2017, Severe /D2/ Drought conditions encompass portions of
Tulsa, Rogers, Wagoner, Mayes, Delaware, Cherokee, Adair,
Muskogee, Okmulgee, McIntosh, Pittsburg, Haskell, Sequoyah,
Latimer, Le Flore, Choctaw, and Pushmataha Counties in eastern
Oklahoma, and Benton, Washington, Sebastian, Crawford, and
Franklin Counties in west central Arkansas.
Moderate /D1/ Drought conditions cover portions of Osage, Pawnee,
Washington, Craig, Ottawa, Creek, Tulsa, Rogers, Mayes, Delaware,
Okmulgee, Okfuskee, McIntosh, Pittsburg, Latimer, Le Flore,
Pushmataha, and Choctaw Counties in eastern Oklahoma and Benton,
Washington, Madison, Sebastian, Franklin, and Carroll Counties in
Abnormally Dry /D0/ but not experiencing drought conditions exist
over portions of Osage, Pawnee, Creek, Washington, Nowata, Choctaw and
Le Flore Counties in eastern Oklahoma and Carroll County in
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
Summary of Impacts...
State and Local Actions:
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
Soil Moisture Impact:
The OCS daily averaged fractional water index for April 13, 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
much of eastern Oklahoma. However, the area near and within a
Tulsa to McAlester to Stilwell triangle had values of 0.2 to 0.7
at all depth levels.
As of April 14, 2017, the Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast
Center (ABRFC) gridded soil moisture indicates that the upper
zone, which responds to short term rainfall, is 20 to greater
than 40 percent full across the D1-D2 area of eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas. This represents slightly agriculturally
dry to neutral conditions and corresponds to 30 to 90 percent of
normal. The lower zone was primarily greater than 40 percent full
with a few locations only 20 to 40 percent full, representing
slight hydrologically dry to neutral conditions. These lower zone
anomalies were 30 to 100 percent of normal across much of eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. A large portion of the region
was 50 to 90 percent of normal.
The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calculated soil moisture
anomaly analysis as of April 13, 2017 showed soil moisture was
80-140 mm (3.1-5.5 inches) below normal across most of eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Lesser deficits were located
northwest of I-44.
No burn bans are in effect. There were numerous large wildfires at
the end of March, but fire activity has decreased due to recent
According to the Muskogee County Conservation District, ponds are
drying up and are already at 2011 and 2012 levels. There is some
soil moisture, but no runoff for the ponds for livestock water.
They expect soil moisture to drop off quickly if warm temperatures
and windy conditions return without additional rainfall.
Over the past 7 days, around 0.50 to near 2 inches of rain fell
along and west of Highway 75 in eastern Oklahoma; 0.25 to around
2 inches fell over far southeast Oklahoma; and 0.10 to 1 inch fell
in Madison County.
In the last 30 days, rainfall totals have ranged from 0.50 to 6
inches, with the lowest totals of 0.50 to 2 inches occurring
generally southeast of I-44 and northwest of a McAlester to
According to OCS, for the last 30 days ending April 13, 2017,
northeast Oklahoma ranks as the 39th wettest period since records
began in 1921. East central Oklahoma ranks as the 23rd driest and
southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 36th wettest. Since the beginning
of the Water Year (October 1, 2016), northeast Oklahoma ranks as
the 38th driest, east central Oklahoma ranks as the 10th driest,
and southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 14th driest.
For the upcoming week, rain chances will begin Saturday evening
and continue through Tuesday evening, with the highest chances
Saturday night through Sunday night. After a brief break, rain
chances return Wednesday evening and continue through the end of
next week. A total of 0.75 to around 3 inches of rain will be
possible over the next 7 days. Temperatures for the next 7 days
will be near to above normal for this time of year.
The CPC 8-14 Day Outlook calls for an increased chance for near
normal temperatures and above normal rainfall across eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.
Beyond this period, the CPC outlook for April 2017 (issued
March 31, 2017) indicates an enhanced chance for above normal
temperatures across all of eastern Oklahoma and northwest
Arkansas. This outlook also calls for equal chances for above,
near, and below median rainfall across all of eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas.
Hydrologic Summary And Outlook...
The Spring Flood Outlook for eastern Oklahoma and northwest
Arkansas states there is a near average flood potential this
spring. Flooding across eastern Oklahoma and northwest and west
central Arkansas usually occurs in response to specific
precipitation events. However, the Arkansas River may flood in
response to more widespread upstream conditions. There are
currently no indications of extreme hydrologic conditions to alter
the flood potential for the area.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), a majority of
the area reservoirs were at or above the top of their
conservation pools. The following reservoirs were operating at
more than 5 percent below the conservation pool level as of April
Eufaula Lake 75 percent, Tenkiller Lake 83 percent, Copan Lake 88
percent, Beaver Lake 89 percent, and Ft. Gibson Lake 90 percent.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 7-day average
streamflow was near to much above normal across the Upper
Arkansas, Verdigris, and Grand/Neosho River Basins, with below to
much below normal across the remainder of far eastern Oklahoma
and western Arkansas as of April 13, 2017. The streamflow is the
lowest value for the day of the year along the Baron Fork at
Dutch Mills. Much below normal conditions were occurring along
Flint Creek near Kansas, James Fork near Hackett, and the Fourche
Maline near Red Oak.
Next Issuance Date...
This product will be updated on May 12, 2017 or sooner if
significant changes in drought conditions occur.
U.S. Drought Portal
U.S. Drought Monitor
National Weather Service Tulsa
Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center
Oklahoma Climatological Survey Drought Tools
Arkansas Forestry Commission
Oklahoma Forestry Commission
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District
U.S. Geological Survey Realtime Data
Climate Prediction Center
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