Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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AXUS74 KAMA 171729
DGTAMA
OKC007-025-139-TXC011-065-087-111-117-129-179-195-205-211-233-295-
341-357-359-375-381-393-421-483-191730-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
1129 AM CST Wed Jan 17 2018

$$

...Extreme to Severe drought conditions have expanded across the
Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles as a result of below normal
precipitation...


Synopsis...

As a result of the latest U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) update
released on January 9th, Extreme Drought (D3) conditions have
expanded into the counties of Beaver in Oklahoma, and Lipscomb in
Texas. Severe Drought (D2) conditions across the Oklahoma Panhandle
and Texas Panhandle have expanded farther west. Moderate Drought
(D1) conditions are ongoing across the rest of the Texas Panhandle.
As of the latest update, areas are no longer in Abnormally Dry (D0),
and all areas across the Amarillo forecast area are in at least D1
conditions. Overall, the conditions across the Panhandles have
worsen due to the lack of precipitation.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Amarillo covers 23 counties
which includes all of the Oklahoma Panhandle and all of the Texas
Panhandle.

There are 5 levels of intensity with regards to the USDM and those
levels are as follows:

D0 - Abnormally Dry
D1 - Moderate Drought
D2 - Severe Drought
D3 - Extreme Drought
D4 - Exceptional Drought

The USDM releases a weekly product each Thursday morning and is
produced through a partnership between the National Drought
Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA). The USDM is based on measurements of
climatic, hydrologic, and soil conditions as well as reported
impacts and observations.

The local Drought Information Statement is issued by the NWS office
in Amarillo when needed to supplement the national USDM product.
Local statements may be issued bi-weekly during times when the USDM
indicates severe drought conditions or as local conditions warrant.


Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions:
No known state or local actions are currently in place at this time.

Agricultural Impacts:
According to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and
Forestry, there is "not a whole lot of growing going on right now"
across the Oklahoma Panhandle. However, the Texas AgriLife Extension
is reporting "winter wheat is being impacted" due to a combination
of dryness and recent arctic freeze causing crop damage. Further
updates to agricultural impacts will be provided on the next
issuance.

Fire Impacts:
Near to above normal precipitation this past spring and summer has
resulted in above normal fuel loading. Drought conditions that began
in October 2017 and persisted into this month along with cured fuels
have increased the significant fire danger potential this winter.
The Energy Release Component (ERC) values have fallen to near or
slightly below normal values of between 35 and 45 over the past
week. The ERC values are expected to increase once again during the
week to above normal with the expected warmer and continued dry
weather by this weekend.

As of January 16, countywide outdoor burn bans were supported in
Dallam, Sherman, Hartley, Moore, Hutchinson, Roberts, Hemphill,
Oldham, Potter, Carson, Gray, Wheeler, Deaf Smith, Randall,
Armstrong, and Collingsworth counties in the Texas Panhandle. In the
Oklahoma Panhandle, Cimarron, Texas and Beaver counties were in
countywide burn bans.

Note that the fire danger conditions can change quickly from day to
day as 20 foot winds and minimum afternoon relative humidities vary.
The Texas A&M Forest Service advises to watch out for key weather
thresholds of 20 foot winds above 15 to 20 mph and relative
humidities below 15 to 20 percent. When these thresholds are
exceeded, expect the fire danger conditions to increase to elevated
and critical.


Climate Summary...

Since the last drought statement, little to no precipitation has
fallen in the last two weeks. Several of our climate sites are
showing around an inch of precipitation below normal since December
1st.


Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

Overall, there is little to no chance for precipitation in the next
7 days across the combined Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. Saturday
night into Sunday there is a chance for precipitation across
northern portion of the Texas Panhandle and all of the Oklahoma
Panhandle, but these chances are low at this time. The rest of the 7
day forecast has no precipitation chances at this time.

Across the NWS Amarillo area, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
outlook shows mostly a below normal probability for precipitation in
the 6-10 outlook, and equal chances to below normal probabilities
for precipitation in the 8-14 period.

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

Area reservoirs are below conservation levels and stream flows are
near normal with a few rivers and creeks running slightly below
normal in the eastern Panhandle.

Next Issuance Date...

The drought information statement may be updated on January 31st,
2018, or sooner if significant chances in drought conditions occur.


Related Websites...

U.S. Drought Portal
http://www.drought.gov

U.S. Drought Monitor
http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

National Weather Service Amarillo
http://weather.gov/ama

Texas A&M AgriLife
https://agrilife.org

Oklahoma Agriculture Food and Forestry
https://www.oda.state.ok.us

Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center
http://weather.gov/abrfc/DROUGHT

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District
http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil

U.S. Geological Survey Realtime Data
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt

U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov

Climate Prediction Center
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov


Acknowledgments...

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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S.
Geological Survey.


Questions or Comments...

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information
statement, please contact:

National Weather Service Amarillo
1900 English Road
Amarillo, Texas 79108
806-335-1121

$$



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