Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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000
AXUS97 KAMA 151755
DGTAMA
OKC007-025-139-TXC011-065-087-111-117-129-179-195-205-211-233-295-
341-357-359-375-381-393-421-483-142359-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AMARILLO TX
1250 PM CDT FRI MAY 15 2015

...CONTINUED WET SPRING WEATHER PATTERN SEES FURTHER IMPROVEMENT OF
DROUGHT CONDITIONS FOR THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...

SYNOPSIS...

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM)...ISSUED THROUGH THE NATIONAL DROUGHT
MITIGATION CENTER ON MAY 14TH...INDICATES ADDITIONAL WIDESPREAD
IMPROVEMENT OF DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLES. A MIX OF SEVERE (D2) TO EXTREME (D3) DROUGHT CONDITIONS
IS DEPICTED ACROSS THE WESTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AND NORTHWESTERN
TEXAS PANHANDLE. ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLES...A MIX OF ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) TO MODERATE (D1) DROUGHT
CONDITIONS IS DEPICTED. PORTIONS OF DEAF SMITH AND RANDALL COUNTIES
HAVE BEEN IMPROVED TO SHOW NO DROUGHT CONDITIONS. REMAINING DROUGHT
IMPACTS ACROSS THE PANHANDLES ARE LONG-TERM IMPACTS...INCLUDING
BELOW NORMAL SOIL MOISTURE LEVELS IN SOME AREAS...LOW RESERVOIR
STORAGE LEVELS...AND DROUGHT THINNED GRASS STANDS ON RANGE LAND.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS.
AFTER A DRIER START TO SPRING LED TO SOME LOSSES IN THE WINTER WHEAT
CROP...RECENT RAINS HAVE HELPED TO IMPROVE MUCH OF THE CROP. IN MANY
AREAS...RAIN HAS CAUSED A DELAY IN SPRING PLANTING. REPORTS FROM
AROUND THE PANHANDLES SUGGEST THAT THE MOISTURE HAS BEEN SOAKING
INTO THE SOIL AS WELL AS RETURNING WATER TO AREA STREAMS...PLAYA
LAKES..AND STOCK PONDS. ACROSS THE ENTIRE PANHANDLES...UPPER ZONE
SOIL MOISTURE IS MOSTLY GREATER THAN 40 PERCENT FULL...WITH
SCATTERED AREAS RATED AT SLIGHT AGRICULTURALLY DRY (20 TO 30 PERCENT
FULL) TO NEUTRAL (30 TO 40 PERCENT FULL). OVERALL...THESE CONDITIONS
REPRESENT TOPSOIL MOISTURE LEVELS GREATER THAN 150 PERCENT OF NORMAL
ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. LOWER ZONE SOILS RANGE FROM MOSTLY 30 TO 50
PERCENT FULL IN FAR NORTHWESTERN PARTS OF THE COMBINED
PANHANDLES...TO GREATER THAN 150 PERCENT OF NORMAL ACROSS MOST OF
THE EASTERN TWO-THIRDS OF THE PANHANDLES. THE PALMER DROUGHT
SEVERITY INDEX...AN INDICATOR OF LONG-TERM DROUGHT...HAS IMPROVED TO
A RATING OF UNUSUAL MOIST SPELL FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS
REGION...AND MAINTAINS A RATING OF NEAR NORMAL FOR THE OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLE AS OF MAY 9TH. THE PALMER CROP MOISTURE INDEX...AN
INDICATOR OF SHORT-TERM DROUGHT...HAS IMPROVED TO SHOW ABNORMALLY
MOIST CONDITIONS FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION MAINTAINS A RATING
OF FAVORABLY MOIST CONDITIONS FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AS OF MAY
9TH.

ACCORDING TO THE CROP AND WEATHER REPORT ISSUED MAY 12TH BY THE
TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE PROGRAM...THE FOLLOWING AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS WERE
NOTED ACROSS THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. TEMPERATURES WERE NEAR
AVERAGE...WITH MOST OF THE REGION RECEIVING RAIN. AMOUNTS FROM 1 TO
AS MUCH AS 7 INCHES WERE REPORTED...AND SOME SMALL HAIL. FARMERS
WERE HAVING TO WAIT FOR SOILS TO DRY TO DO FIELDWORK...INCLUDING
CORN PLANTING WHICH WAS ALREADY TWO WEEKS BEHIND SCHEDULE. WET
CONDITIONS WERE ALSO SLOWING THE HARVEST OF WHEAT SILAGE AND HAY.
WHEAT WAS DOING ALRIGHT IF NOT IMPACTED BY HAIL OR DISEASE. IN
HEMPHILL COUNTY REPORTS OF 8 TO 15 INCHES OF RAIN OVER THE LAST
SEVERAL WEEKS WERE REPORTED. NIGHTTIME TEMPERATURES WERE TOO COOL
FOR GOOD GROWTH OF WARM SEASON GRASSES...THOUGH RANGELAND AND
PASTURES WERE RESPONDING WELL TO THE RECENT RAIN. COWS WERE
BEGINNING TO REGAIN BODY CONDITION LOST DURING THE WINTER.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS.
RECENT ROUNDS OF RAIN AND HERBACEOUS GREENUP HAVE LIMITED WIDESPREAD
CONCERNS FOR FIRE DANGER. THE RECENT RAINFALL HAS LOWERED ENERGY
RELEASE COMPONENT (ERC) VALUES TO LESS THAN THE 50TH
PERCENTILE...WITH CURRENT ERC VALUES RANGING BETWEEN 10 AND 25.

AS OF MAY 15TH...COUNTYWIDE OUTDOOR BURN BANS WERE SUPPORTED IN
OLDHAM 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. WITH REGIONAL RESERVOIRS REMAINING AT LOW LEVELS...PLEASE BE
AWARE OF ANY WATER USE RESTRICTIONS OR CONSERVATION EFFORTS IN YOUR
COMMUNITY.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

THE SOUTHERN BRANCH OF THE JET STREAM HAS CONTINUED TO BE A MAJOR
FEATURE OF RECENT WEATHER PATTERNS FOR THE HIGH PLAINS...BRINGING
SEVERAL UPPER ATMOSPHERE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEMS AND DRAWING GULF
MOISTURE INTO THE REGION. AS A RESULT...MOST PARTS OF THE PANHANDLES
HAVE RECEIVED BETWEEN 3 TO 5 INCHES OVER THE LAST 30 DAYS. FAR
NORTHWESTERN PARTS OF THE COMBINED PANHANDLES HAVE MEASURED AS
LITTLE AS 2 INCHES...AND MUCH OF THE SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE
HAS RECEIVED OVER 10 INCHES DURING THAT TIME. OUT OF 121 YEARS ON
RECORD...IT WAS THE 28TH WARMEST AND 14TH WETTEST APRIL FOR THE
TEXAS HIGH PLAINS CLIMATE DIVISION. FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...IT
WAS THE 29TH WARMEST AND 12TH WETTEST APRIL OUT OF THE LAST 121
YEARS.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THROUGH THE END OF NEXT WEEK...THERE WILL BE SEVERAL ADDITIONAL
CHANCES FOR RAIN ACROSS THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...MOST
NOTABLY A POTENTIAL HEAVY RAIN EVENT MONDAY INTO TUESDAY. THE
PERIODIC RAIN EVENTS SHOULD ALSO HELP TO KEEP AFTERNOON TEMPERATURES
BELOW NORMAL FOR MOST OF THE NEXT WEEK.

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 HAD SPREAD ACROSS MOST OF THE EQUATORIAL
PACIFIC BY EARLY MAY...WITH THE ATMOSPHERE ACROSS THE TROPICS ALSO
RESEMBLING EL NINO CONDITIONS. SUBSURFACE TEMPERATURE ANOMALIES
REMAINED SUBSTANTIALLY ABOVE AVERAGE CONVECTION OVER THE CENTRAL
EQUATORIAL PACIFIC OCEAN WAS ENHANCED...INDICATIVE OF THE COUPLED
ATMOSPHERE-OCEAN PATTERN ASSOCIATED WITH EL NINO EVENTS.
COLLECTIVELY THESE FEATURES REFLECT A WEAK TO MODERATE EL NINO.
CLIMATE MODELS CONTINUE TO SUGGEST A CONTINUATION AND POSSIBLE
STRENGTHENING OF THIS PATTERN THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF
2015...THOUGH ENSO FORECASTS CREATED DURING THE SPRING ARE
HISTORICALLY LOWER IN ACCURACY. GIVEN THE STRENGTH AND PERSISTENCE
OF THE CURRENT PATTERN...THE CPC FORECASTS A 90 PERCENT CHANCE FOR
EL NINO TO CONTINUE THROUGH AT LEAST SUMMER 2015...AND A GREATER
THAN 80 PERCENT CHANCE THAT IT WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE END OF THIS
YEAR. 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 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 PORTIONS OF THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE. THIS HAS
RESULTED IN MODERATE TO SEVERE 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 FROM SLIGHT HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (20 TO 30
PERCENT FULL) TO GREATER THAN 40 PERCENT FULL ACROSS THE REST OF THE
PANHANDLES. REGIONAL RESERVOIRS REMAIN NEAR HISTORICALLY LOW DEPTHS.

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF MAY 15TH...

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

PALO DURO             2833.52         61066         925          1.51
LAKE MEREDITH         2859.28        500000       32007          6.40
GREENBELT LAKE        2623.37         59968        9588         15.99

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED BY MAY 31ST...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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