Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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000
AXUS74 KAMA 282335
DGTAMA
OKC007-025-139-TXC011-065-087-111-117-129-179-195-205-211-233-295-
341-357-359-375-381-393-421-483-272359-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AMARILLO TX
634 PM CDT FRI MAR 28 2014

...CONTINUED DRYNESS WORSENS DROUGHT IMPACTS ACROSS THE
TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...

SYNOPSIS...

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM)...ISSUED THROUGH THE NATIONAL DROUGHT
MITIGATION CENTER ON MARCH 25TH...DEPICTS EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL
DROUGHT ACROSS THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES. EXTREME (D3)
DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE INDICATED ACROSS THE ENTIRE PANHANDLES...
WITH AN AREA FROM HARTLEY COUNTY TO CARSON COUNTY IN THE CENTRAL
TEXAS PANHANDLE EXPERIENCING EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT CONDITIONS.
SHORT TERM IMPACTS HAVE ACCUMULATED SINCE THE END OF LAST SUMMER...
WITH MANY AREAS ACROSS THE PANHANDLE RECEIVING ONE HALF INCH OF
PRECIPITATION OR LESS SINCE THE START OF THIS YEAR. IMPACTS FROM
LONG TERM DROUGHT CONDITIONS ALSO CONTINUE...INCLUDING THINNED OUT
NATIVE GRASS AND RANGE LANDS...LIMITED DEEP SOIL MOISTURE...REDUCED
CATTLE HERD SIZES...AND LOW RESERVOIR LEVELS AND STREAMFLOWS.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS.
AS THE PANHANDLES ENTER THE GROWING SEASON...THE LACK OF FALL AND
WINTER PRECIPITATION HAS SEVERELY LIMITED WINTER WHEAT GROWTH AND
LIMITED THE AVAILABILITY OF SOIL MOISTURE FOR SPRING PLANTING. ACROSS
MOST OF THE PANHANDLES...UPPER ZONE SOIL MOISTURE RANGES FROM
EXTREME AGRICULTURALLY DRY (1 TO 5 PERCENT FULL) IN THE WESTERN
PANHANDLES AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS PANHANDLE TO MODERATE AGRICULTURALLY
DRY (10 TO 20 PERCENT FULL) ACROSS THE CENTRAL TEXAS PANHANDLE AND
EASTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE. DEEPER SOIL MOISTURE LEVELS ARE AT LESS
THAN 30 PERCENT OF NORMAL ACROSS MOST OF THE PANHANDLES...WITH AREAS
OF 70 TO 90 PERCENT NORMAL IN THE EASTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE AND MOST OF
THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE. THE PALMER DROUGHT SEVERITY INDEX...AN
INDICATOR OF LONG TERM DROUGHT...MAINTAINS A RATING OF SEVERE DROUGHT
FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION AS OF MARCH 22ND AND HAS DEGRADED
TO A RATING OF MODERATE DROUGHT FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE. THE
PALMER CROP MOISTURE INDEX...AN INDICATOR OF SHORT TERM DROUGHT...
INDICATED SLIGHTLY DRY CONDITIONS FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION
AND NEAR NORMAL CONDITIONS FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE ON MARCH 22ND.

ACCORDING TO THE CROP AND WEATHER REPORT ISSUED MARCH 25TH BY THE
TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE PROGRAM...THE FOLLOWING AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS
WERE NOTED ACROSS THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. DRY AND WINDY CONDITIONS
CONTINUED WITH NEAR-AVERAGE TEMPERATURES WITH NO MOISTURE RECEIVED.
SOIL MOISTURE WAS MOSTLY VERY SHORT. HIGH WIND DRIED OUT SOILS AND
CAUSED SOME AREAS OF BLOWING DUST PROBLEMS...WHICH LIMITED FARMERS
PREPARING FIELDS FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON. THEY WERE STILL TRYING TO
APPLY FERTILIZER...COMPOST...AND MANURE UNDER WINDY CONDITIONS. DEAF
SMITH COUNTY REPORTED SOIL TEMPERATURES WERE RISING WITH MOST
REPORTING STATIONS READING 49 TO 52 DEGREES (PERFECT SOIL
TEMPERATURES FOR WEED GERMINATION). WINTER WHEAT UNDER IRRIGATION WAS
PROGRESSING WELL...WITH WITH GROWERS RUNNING CENTER PIVOTS MORE
FREQUENTLY AS DAYS WARMED. IN OCHILTREE COUNTY...WHEAT WAS DECLINING.
RANGELAND REMAINED DORMANT...AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS WERE STILL
SUPPLEMENTING CATTLE. STOCKERS WERE BEING PLACED ON GRAZE-OUT WHEAT
WHERE AVAILABLE OR MOVED TO FEED YARDS.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS.
THE LOADING OF FINE GRASSY FUELS IS NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL
ACROSS THE PANHANDLES THIS YEAR AFTER BENEFICIAL RAINS DURING THE
PAST GROWING SEASON. THE MOST NOTABLE VEGETATIVE GROWTH OCCURRED
OVER THE EASTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AND THE NORTHERN AND EASTERN
TEXAS PANHANDLE. IN THE EASTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE...OFF THE CAPROCK...
LIMITED GRAZING HAS ALSO ALLOWED FOR GREATER FUEL LOADING. THIS
GROWTH IS STILL DORMANT DUE TO THE COOLER AND DRIER WEATHER SO FAR.
IN THE ABSENCE OF WETTING PRECIPITATION...THIS DORMANT VEGETATION
WILL SUPPORT INCREASED FIRE ACTIVITY AS COMPARED TO 2013. CURRENT
DRYING TRENDS SUGGEST AN ENHANCED RISK FOR THE CURING OF FUELS DURING
THE SPRING...AND SIGNIFICANT FIRE POTENTIAL WILL ACCOMPANY PROLONGED
PERIODS OF DRYING CONDITIONS. ENERGY RELEASE COMPONENT (ERC) VALUES
ARE IN THE 90TH PERCENTILE...WITH VALUES NEAR 70 ACROSS THE
PANHANDLES. THESE VALUES ARE AT THE 15-YEAR MAXIMUM FOR THIS TIME
OF YEAR.

AS OF MARCH 28TH...COUNTYWIDE OUTDOOR BURN BANS WERE SUPPORTED IN
ALL BUT DALLAM...SHERMAN...HANSFORD...OCHILTREE...LIPSCOMB...AND
HARTLEY 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...

THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES EXPERIENCED A MOSTLY COOLER AND
DRIER THAN NORMAL WINTER...WITH BRIEF PERIODS OF WARMER
WEATHER. A FEW LIGHT PRECIPITATION EVENTS HAVE OCCURRED IN THE LAST
MONTH...THOUGH MOST OF THIS PRECIPITATION HAS NOT BEEN ENOUGH TO SOAK
DEEP INTO THE SOIL. SEVERAL DAYS WITH STRONG WINDS HAVE ALSO HELPED
TO SAP THIS MOISTURE FROM THE SOIL. OUT OF 120 YEARS ON RECORD...IT
WAS THE 35TH COLDEST AND 37TH DRIEST FEBRUARY FOR THE TEXAS HIGH
PLAINS REGION. FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...IT WAS THE 17TH COLDEST
AND 33RD DRIEST FEBRUARY IN 120 YEARS OF RECORD KEEPING.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THROUGH THE NEXT WEEK...ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED FOR
THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...WITH LITTLE CHANCE OF
PRECIPITATION UNTIL THE END OF NEXT WEEK. CURRENT INDICATIONS ARE
FOR MORE WIDESPREAD PRECIPITATION WITH AN UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM NEXT
THURSDAY INTO FRIDAY. BEFORE THAT...SUNDAY AND WEDNESDAY SHOULD BE
THE WARMEST AND WINDIEST DAYS OF THE NEXT SEVEN.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) REPORTS THAT ENSO-NEUTRAL
CONDITIONS ARE CONTINUING ACROSS THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC AND
SHOULD PERSIST THROUGH SPRING 2014. THE CPC THEN FORECASTS A 50
PERCENT CHANCE FOR EL NINO CONDITIONS TO DEVELOP DURING THE SUMMER
OR FALL. DURING NEUTRAL EPISODES...THE WEATHER PATTERNS WHICH AFFECT
THE PANHANDLES ARE TYPICALLY GUIDED BY OTHER SHORTER TERM CLIMATE
PATTERNS. DURING EL NINO EPISODES...THE PANHANDLES GENERALLY HAVE
GREATER CHANCES FOR COOLER AND WETTER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS...WITH
THE GREATEST IMPACTS FELT DURING WINTER AND SPRING.

THE CPC OUTLOOK FOR APRIL INDICATES SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE SOUTHWEST TEXAS PANHANDLE...WITH EQUAL
CHANCES FOR BELOW...NEAR...OR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE
REST OF THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES. ALSO FOR APRIL...THE CPC
OUTLOOK INDICATES EQUAL CHANCES FOR BELOW...NEAR...OR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. THE CPC OUTLOOK FOR APRIL
THROUGH JUNE INDICATES BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES
ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. IT ALSO INDICATES EQUAL CHANCES FOR BELOW...
NEAR...OR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION OVER THIS TIME PERIOD. THE
LATEST U.S. MONTHLY DROUGHT OUTLOOK...ISSUED BY THE CPC...FORECASTS
THAT DROUGHT CONDITIONS WILL LIKELY PERSIST OR INTENSIFY ACROSS THE
PANHANDLES. THE LATEST U.S. SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK FORECASTS THAT
DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE ALSO LIKELY TO PERSIST OR INTENSIFY THROUGH
JUNE FOR THE PANHANDLES.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS.
ACCORDING TO THE USGS WATERWATCH...STREAMFLOWS IN THE PANHANDLES
REMAIN AT NEAR NORMAL TO MUCH BELOW NORMAL LEVELS...RESULTING IN
MODERATE HYDROLOGIC DROUGHT ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TEXAS PANHANDLE AND
BELOW NORMAL CONDITIONS FOR THE REST OF THE PANHANDLES. LOWER ZONE
SOIL IS MOSTLY EXTREME HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (1 TO 5 PERCENT FULL) IN
THE WESTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE...BUT RANGES FROM SEVERE HYDROLOGICALLY
DRY (5 TO 10 PERCENT FULL) TO MODERATE HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (10
TO 20 PERCENT FULL) ACROSS THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AND EASTERN HALF OF
THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. RESERVOIRS REMAIN NEAR HISTORICALLY LOW
DEPTHS...THOUGH THESE DEPTHS ARE ALL SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN AT THIS
POINT LAST YEAR. LAKE MEREDITH REACHED A RECORD LOW DEPTH OF 26.14
FEET ON AUGUST 7TH.

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF DECEMBER 14TH...

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

PALO DURO             2840.38         61066        2226          3.60
LAKE MEREDITH         2847.30        500000           0          0.00
GREENBELT LAKE        2621.54         59968        8535         14.20

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED BY APRIL 18TH...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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