Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AMARILLO TX
507 PM CDT MON SEP 22 2014

...RECENT WETTING RAINS CONTINUE STEADY DROUGHT IMPROVEMENT ACROSS
THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...

SYNOPSIS...

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM)...ISSUED THROUGH THE NATIONAL DROUGHT
MITIGATION CENTER ON SEPTEMBER 16TH...DEPICTS CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT
IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS FOR THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES.
EXTREME (D3) DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUE ALONG A LINE FROM NEAR
DALHART SOUTHEASTWARD TOWARD PAMPA AND ALSO IN EASTERN LIPSCOMB
COUNTY AND THE CENTRAL OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE. A MIX OF MODERATE (D1) TO
SEVERE (D2) DROUGHT CONDITIONS IS DEPICTED ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF
THE PANHANDLES...EXCEPT DEAF SMITH COUNTY WHERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS
HAVE BEEN REMOVED AND A RATING OF ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) IS DEPICTED.
THERE ARE NO MORE AREAS OF EXCEPTIONAL (D4) DROUGHT REMAINING IN THE
PANHANDLES. THE PERIODIC RAIN EVENTS AND INCREASED HUMIDITY HAVE KEPT
EXTREMELY HOT AND DRY WEATHER FROM DEVELOPING THIS SUMMER. THIS
SHORT-TERM RELIEF TO THE DROUGHT HAS BENEFITED FARMING AND RANCHING
OPERATIONS ACROSS THE PANHANDLES...WITH MANY PRODUCERS SEEING THEIR
MOST SUCCESSFUL SUMMER CROPS IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS. LONG-TERM
DROUGHT IMPACTS REMAIN ACROSS THE AREA...INCLUDING LOW RESERVOIR
LEVELS...DRIER THAN NORMAL DEEP SOIL ZONES...AND THINNED GRASS STANDS
ON RANGELAND.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS.
REGULAR PERIODS OF HEAVY RAINFALL HAVE CONTINUED TO BENEFIT
AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS AS THE GROWING SEASON NEARS ITS END...WITH
RAINFALL AND COOLER TEMPERATURES EVEN LIMITING FIELD OPERATIONS AT
TIMES. THE MOST RECENT ROUNDS OF RAINFALL HAVE ALSO HELPED TO PROVIDE
A GOOD MOISTURE BASE FOR WINTER WHEAT PLANTING AND CONTINUED
RANGELAND IMPROVEMENT. ACROSS THE PANHANDLES...UPPER ZONE SOIL
MOISTURE IS MOSTLY MODERATE AGRICULTURALLY DRY (10 TO 20 PERCENT
FULL) TO SLIGHT AGRICULTURALLY DRY (20 TO 30 PERCENT FULL)...WITH
AREAS IN THE NORTHWEST AND SOUTHEAST TEXAS PANHANDLE RATED AT SEVERE
AGRICULTURALLY DRY (5 TO 10 PERCENT FULL). IN THE SOUTHWEST AND
NORTHEAST TEXAS PANHANDLE...UPPER ZONE SOIL MOISTURE IS GREATER THAN
40 PERCENT FULL. ACROSS AREAS WHERE RAINFALL HAS BEEN HEAVIEST AND
MOST FREQUENT...LOWER ZONE SOILS RANGE FROM 70 PERCENT OF NORMAL TO
GREATER THAN 150 PERCENT OF NORMAL. ELSEWHERE...LOWER ZONE SOIL
MOISTURE IS LESS THAN 50 PERCENT OF NORMAL. THE PALMER DROUGHT
SEVERITY INDEX...AN INDICATOR OF LONG-TERM DROUGHT...HAS IMPROVED TO
A RATING OF NEAR NORMAL FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION AND
MAINTAINS A RATING OF MODERATE DROUGHT FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AS
OF SEPTEMBER 13TH. THE PALMER CROP MOISTURE INDEX...AN INDICATOR OF
SHORT-TERM DROUGHT...INDICATED FAVORABLY MOIST CONDITIONS FOR THE
TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION AND SLIGHTLY DRY CONDITIONS FOR THE OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLE ON SEPTEMBER 13TH.

ACCORDING TO THE CROP AND WEATHER REPORT ISSUED SEPTEMBER 16TH 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...BUT IT ENDED WITH MUCH COOLER
TEMPERATURES AND SOME MOISTURE. RAINFALL AMOUNTS RANGED FROM A TRACE
TO AS MUCH AS 2 INCHES. SOIL MOISTURE CONTINUED TO BE RATED MOSTLY
SHORT TO ADEQUATE. CORN HARVESTERS WERE WAITING FOR DRY-DOWN IN SOME
AREAS...WHILE PICKING WAS UNDERWAY IN OTHERS. WHEAT PLANTING WAS
DELAYED DUE TO RECENT RAINS...AND COOLER TEMPERATURES HAVE
SLOWED COTTON DEVELOPMENT. RANGELAND AND PASTURES VARIED FROM POOR
TO EXCELLENT CONDITION...WITH MOST COUNTIES REPORTING FAIR. CATTLE
WERE IN GOOD CONDITION.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS.
THOUGH MOST VEGETATION WILL SOON BEGIN TRANSITIONING TO DORMANCY...
RECENT WETTING RAINS HAVE CONTINUED TO KEEP AREA VEGETATIVE FUELS
MOIST. THUS...THE RISK OF SIGNIFICANT WILDLAND FIRE WILL REMAIN VERY
LOW THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE GROWING SEASON. FIRE DANGER MAY
INCREASE AGAIN ONCE VEGETATIVE FUELS ENTER DORMANCY AND ARE SUBJECTED
TO A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DRYING. RAINS HAVE DROPPED ENERGY RELEASE
COMPONENT (ERC) VALUES TO LESS THAN THE 50TH PERCENTILE...WITH VALUES
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 0 AND 30.

AS OF SEPTEMBER 19TH...COUNTYWIDE OUTDOOR BURN BANS WERE SUPPORTED
IN ROBERTS...OLDHAM...POTTER...ARMSTRONG...AND DONLEY 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. IN DONLEY COUNTY...GREENBELT MIWA IS IN THE CONCERN PRIORITY
ACCORDING TO TCEQ. PLEASE BE AWARE OF ANY WATER USE RESTRICTIONS OR
CONSERVATION EFFORTS IN YOUR COMMUNITY.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

AFTER A DRIER AND WARMER END TO AUGUST FOR MOST OF THE TEXAS AND
OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...THE RETURN OF FALL-LIKE WEATHER PATTERNS AND
A FAVORABLE ORIENTATION OF TROPICAL MOISTURE FROM THE PACIFIC OCEAN
HAS HELPED BRING SEVERAL MORE RAIN EVENTS THROUGH THE REGION. THE
LAST 30 DAYS HAVE BROUGHT RAINFALL AMOUNTS RANGING FROM NEAR 1 INCH
TO GREATER THAN 5 INCHES. THE SOUTHEAST TEXAS PANHANDLE AND PORTIONS
OF BEAVER AND TEXAS COUNTIES IN THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE HAVE REMAINED
DRIEST DURING THIS PERIOD. OVERALL...THE RAINFALL AND RECENT COLD
FRONTS HAVE KEPT TEMPERATURES COOLER AND HUMIDITY HIGHER THAN OVER
THE LAST FEW SUMMERS. OUT OF 120 YEARS ON RECORD...IT WAS THE 36TH
WARMEST AND 18TH DRIEST AUGUST FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS CLIMATE
DIVISION. FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...IT WAS THE 40TH WARMEST AND
43RD DRIEST AUGUST OUT OF THE LAST 120 YEARS.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THROUGH NEXT WEEKEND...A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT WILL GRADUALLY
GIVE WAY TO AN UPPER-LEVEL SHORTWAVE TROUGH. DURING THIS
TRANSITION...THE PANHANDLES WILL SEE A FEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR
SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. THIS SHOULD ALSO KEEP
TEMPERATURES NEAR NORMAL THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) REPORTS THAT ENSO-NEUTRAL
CONDITIONS CONTINUED ACROSS THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC THROUGH AUGUST.
SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES CONTINUED TO WARM ABOVE AVERAGE ACROSS THE
EQUATORIAL PACIFIC...AND SUBSURFACE HEAT CONTENT ANOMALIES ALSO
INCREASED DURING THE MONTH. THIS WARMING IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE
DOWNWELLING PHASE OF AN EQUATORIAL OCEANIC KELVIN WAVE TRIGGERED IN
JULY BY LOW-LEVEL WESTERLY WIND ANOMALIES. ENHANCED EASTERLY UPPER-
LEVEL WIND ANOMALIES HAVE PREVAILED FOR MUCH OF THE LAST MONTH
AS WELL...AND THE SOUTHERN OSCILLATION INDEX HAS BEEN NEGATIVE. THE
LACK OF A COHERENT EL NINO PATTERN AND CONTINUED NEAR-AVERAGE SST`S
IN THE CENTRAL PACIFIC INDICATE CONTINUATION OF ENSO-NEUTRAL
CONDITIONS. MOST OF THE MODELS CONTINUE TO PREDICT EL NINO TO
DEVELOP DURING SEPTEMBER-NOVEMBER AND TO CONTINUE INTO EARLY 2015...
WITH THE CONSENSUS FORECAST INDICATING A WEAK EL NINO EVENT. THE
CHANCE FOR AN EL NINO TO DEVELOP REMAINS AT 60 TO 65 PERCENT DURING
THIS FALL AND WINTER. THEREFORE...AN EL NINO WATCH IS CURRENTLY IN
EFFECT. 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. THERE
IS ALSO A TENDENCY FOR HIGH TEMPERATURES TO BE COOLER THAN NORMAL
OVER THE WINTER DURING EL NINO EPISODES.

THE CPC OUTLOOK FOR OCTOBER INDICATES BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL
TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. ALSO FOR OCTOBER...THE CPC
OUTLOOK INDICATES EQUAL CHANCES FOR BELOW...NEAR...OR ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. THE CPC OUTLOOK FOR OCTOBER
THROUGH DECEMBER 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 LIKELY PERSIST OR INTENSIFY ACROSS A
MAJORITY OF THE PANHANDLES THROUGH THE END OF SEPTEMBER. THE LATEST
U.S. SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK FORECASTS THAT DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE
LIKELY TO REMAIN BUT IMPROVE ACROSS MUCH OF THE PANHANDLES THROUGH
DECEMBER. FURTHER DROUGHT REMOVAL IS LIKELY IN PORTIONS OF THE
WESTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE AND EASTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE THROUGH THIS
TIME.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS.
ACCORDING TO THE USGS WATERWATCH...STREAMFLOWS IN THE TEXAS AND
OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE ARE AT NEAR NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL LEVELS. LOWER
ZONE SOILS RANGE MOSTLY FROM MODERATE HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (10 TO 20
PERCENT FULL) TO SLIGHT HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (20 TO 30 PERCENT FULL)
ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. IN THE CENTRAL OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AND FROM
NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE TEXAS PANHANDLE...LOWER ZONE SOILS
ARE EXTREME HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (1 TO 5 PERCENT FULL) TO SEVERE
HYDROLOGICALLY DRY (5 TO 10 PERCENT FULL). IN THE SOUTHWEST TEXAS
PANHANDLE...DEEPER SOILS ARE AT GREATER THAN 40 PERCENT FULL.
RESERVOIRS REMAIN NEAR HISTORICALLY LOW DEPTHS...THOUGH RAINFALL
SINCE MEMORIAL DAY HAS BROUGHT LAKE MEREDITH UP TO 5 PERCENT...AND
HAS KEPT LEVELS NEARLY STEADY AT PALO DURO AND GREENBELT. LAKE
MEREDITH REACHED A RECORD LOW DEPTH OF 26.14 FEET ON AUGUST 7TH LAST
YEAR...BUT LEVELS HAVE RISEN 19 FEET SINCE THEN BASED ON RAIN
RECEIVED LAST FALL AND THIS SUMMER. WITH THE LAKE NOW ABOVE DEAD
POOL...IT IS ONCE AGAIN BEING TAPPED FOR WATER SUPPLY BY CRMWA.

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF SEPTEMBER 22ND...

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

PALO DURO             2836.35         61066        1385          2.27
LAKE MEREDITH         2857.52        500000       24918          4.98
GREENBELT LAKE        2619.86         59968        7598         12.67

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED BY OCTOBER 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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