Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AMARILLO TX
1101 PM CST FRI NOV 21 2014

...RELATIVELY COOL AND QUIET AUTUMN BRINGS LITTLE CHANGE TO DROUGHT
CONDITIONS FOR THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...

SYNOPSIS...

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR (USDM)...ISSUED THROUGH THE NATIONAL DROUGHT
MITIGATION CENTER ON NOVEMBER 18TH...CONTINUES TO DEPICT EXTREME
(D3) DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS MOST OF THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AND
ALONG A LINE FROM NEAR DALHART SOUTHEASTWARD TO NEAR CLARENDON.
A MIX OF MODERATE (D1) TO SEVERE (D2) DROUGHT CONDITIONS IS DEPICTED
ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE PANHANDLES...EXCEPT DEAF SMITH COUNTY
WHERE ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) CONDITIONS HAVE CONTINUED. BENEFICIAL AND
TIMELY RAINFALL DURING THE GROWING SEASON HAS LED TO AVERAGE OR
ABOVE AVERAGE CROP YIELDS AS THE FALL HARVEST WRAPS UP. LONG-TERM
DROUGHT IMPACTS REMAIN ACROSS THE AREA...INCLUDING LOW RESERVOIR
LEVELS...DRIER THAN NORMAL SOIL MOISTURE...AND THINNED GRASS STANDS
ON RANGELAND.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS.
THERE ARE NOT MANY SHORT-TERM DROUGHT IMPACTS BEING EXPERIENCED
ACROSS THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES AS WINTER SETS IN THIS YEAR.
DESPITE A DRY AND SLOW START TO THE GROWING SEASON...MANY LOCATIONS
AROUND THE PANHANDLES RECEIVED NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION
THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER AND INTO THIS FALL. THE TIMELY RAINFALL EVENTS
AND INCREASED HUMIDITY ALLOWED FOR MANY CROPS AND RANGELANDS TO MAKE
IT THROUGH THE HEAT OF SUMMER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVERAL YEARS. AT
TIMES...THE RAINFALL AND COOLER TEMPERATURES EVEN DELAYED FIELD
OPERATIONS. WHERE WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN PLANTED...MOST HAS EMERGED
AND IS HEALTHY ENOUGH FOR GRAZING THROUGH THE WINTER. IN THE DRIEST
AREAS...DRYLAND CROPS AND GRASS LANDS CONTINUE TO SHOW SIGNS OF
DROUGHT STRESS. 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 SOME AREAS IN THE
WESTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE RATED AT SEVERE AGRICULTURALLY DRY (5 TO 10
PERCENT FULL) AND SOME AREAS IN THE EASTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE RATED AT
NEUTRAL (30 TO 40 PERCENT FULL). ACROSS AREAS WHERE RAINFALL WAS MOST
FREQUENT DURING THE GROWING SEASON...LOWER ZONE SOILS RANGE FROM 70
PERCENT OF NORMAL TO GREATER THAN 150 PERCENT OF NORMAL. ACROSS THE
EASTERN OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AND MUCH OF THE TEXAS PANHANDLE...LOWER
SOIL ZONES ARE BELOW 50 PERCENT OF NORMAL. THE PALMER DROUGHT
SEVERITY INDEX...AN INDICATOR OF LONG-TERM DROUGHT...MAINTAINS A
RATING OF NEAR NORMAL FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION AND MODERATE
DROUGHT FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE AS OF NOVEMBER 15TH. THE PALMER
CROP MOISTURE INDEX...AN INDICATOR OF SHORT-TERM DROUGHT...INDICATED
SLIGHTLY DRY CONDITIONS FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS REGION AND FOR THE
OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE ON NOVEMBER 15TH.

ACCORDING TO THE CROP AND WEATHER REPORT ISSUED NOVEMBER 18TH BY THE
TEXAS A&M AGRILIFE PROGRAM...THE FOLLOWING AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS WERE
NOTED ACROSS THE TEXAS PANHANDLE. COLDER TEMPERATURES PREVAILED
DURING THE PREVIOUS WEEK AND THERE WAS SNOW RANGING FROM A DUSTING
TO 3.5 INCHES IN SOME AREAS. SOIL MOISTURE WAS FROM VERY SHORT TO
ADEQUATE...WITH MOST COUNTIES REPORTING SHORT TO ADEQUATE. THE
FREEZE AIDED IN KILLING COTTON AND FACILITATING HARVEST. ON ALREADY
HARVESTED COTTON FROM COLLINGSWORTH COUNTY...YIELDS WERE AVERAGE TO
ABOVE AVERAGE ON BOTH IRRIGATED AND DRYLAND FIELDS. IN DEAF SMITH
COUNTY...CORN HARVEST WAS MOSTLY FINISHED WITH AVERAGE TO ABOVE
AVERAGE YIELDS... AND DRYLAND GRAIN SORGHUM WAS MAKING ABOVE AVERAGE
YIELDS. THE COTTON HARVEST THERE WAS YET TO BEGIN IN EARNEST...
THOUGH LOW QUALITY AND POOR YIELDS WERE EXPECTED. IN HANSFORD
COUNTY...RANCHERS WERE MOVING CATTLE ONTO WHEAT PASTURE...AND THEY
WERE ALSO GRAZING SOME CATTLE ON SORGHUM STALKS. THE WHEELER COUNTY
COTTON HARVEST WAS UNDERWAY WITH AVERAGE YIELDS REPORTED.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS.
AMBIENT FIRE DANGER HAS SLOWLY INCREASED SINCE THE END OF THE
GROWING SEASON...AS DRIER CONDITIONS AND WIDESPREAD KILLING FREEZES
HAVE CAUSED VEGETATIVE FUELS TO ENTER DORMANCY. FOLLOWING THE
BENEFICIAL RAINFALL FROM THE GROWING SEASON...AREAS OF INCREASED FUEL
LOADING WILL BE SUSCEPTIBLE TO PROLONGED PERIODS OF DRY AND WINDY
WEATHER DURING THIS WINTER. AS WAS THE CASE DURING THE GROWING
SEASON...RECENT RAINFALL AND SNOWFALL HAVE KEPT ENERGY RELEASE
COMPONENT (ERC) VALUES TO LESS THAN THE 75TH PERCENTILE...WITH
CURRENT VALUES SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 41 AND 50.

AS OF NOVEMBER 21ST...COUNTYWIDE OUTDOOR BURN BANS WERE SUPPORTED
IN ROBERTS...OLDHAM...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...

THE MOSTLY DRY CONDITIONS AND ALTERNATING PERIODS OF ABOVE AND
BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES OF THE LAST MONTH ARE FAIRLY
REPRESENTATIVE OF AUTUMN FOR THE PANHANDLES. THE LAST 30 DAYS HAVE
BROUGHT PRECIPITATION TOTALS RANGING FROM ONE TENTH OF AN INCH TO
GREATER THAN 2 INCHES...WITH SOME OF THAT COMING FROM SNOWFALL.
DURING THIS PERIOD...THE CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA
PANHANDLES HAVE BEEN THE DRIEST. OUT OF 120 YEARS ON RECORD...IT WAS
THE 8TH WARMEST AND 30TH DRIEST OCTOBER FOR THE TEXAS HIGH PLAINS
CLIMATE DIVISION. FOR THE OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE...IT WAS THE 8TH
WARMEST AND 38TH WETTEST OCTOBER OUT OF THE LAST 120 YEARS.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THROUGH THE NEXT WEEK...NORTHWESTERLY FLOW ALOFT WILL KEEP
CONDITIONS COOLER THAN NORMAL TO NEAR NORMAL AND MOSTLY DRY.

THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC) REPORTS THAT ABOVE-AVERAGE SEA
SURFACE TEMPERATURES INCREASED SLIGHTLY ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF
THE EQUATORIAL PACIFIC DURING OCTOBER. SUBSURFACE HEAT CONTENT
ANOMALIES REMAINED LARGELY UNCHANGED DURING THE MONTH...AND BOTH
UPPER-LEVEL AND LOW-LEVEL WINDS WERE NEAR AVERAGE. THOUGH SEVERAL
FEATURES ARE CHARACTERISTIC OF BORDERLINE EL NINO CONDITIONS...THE
COMBINED OCEAN AND ATMOSPHERE REMAINS ENSO-NEUTRAL. MOST OF THE
MODELS CONTINUE TO PREDICT EL NINO TO DEVELOP DURING OCTOBER-
DECEMBER 2014 AND CONTINUE INTO EARLY 2015...WITH THE CONSENSUS
FORECAST INDICATING ONLY A WEAK EL NINO EVENT TO DEVELOP. THE CHANCE
FOR AN EL NINO TO DEVELOP HAS DECREASED TO 58 PERCENT AS CONDITIONS
HAVE BEEN SLOW TO MATERIALIZE. THEREFORE...AN EL NINO WATCH REMAINS
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 DECEMBER INDICATES BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. ALSO FOR OCTOBER...THE CPC
OUTLOOK INDICATES BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION
ACROSS THE PANHANDLES. THE CPC OUTLOOK FOR DECEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY
INDICATES BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE
PANHANDLES. IT ALSO INDICATES 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 THE PANHANDLES THROUGH THE END OF
NOVEMBER. THE LATEST U.S. SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK FORECASTS THAT
DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE LIKELY TO PERSIST OR INTENSIFY FOR MUCH OF
THE PANHANDLES THROUGH FEBRUARY...EXCEPT ACROSS THE SOUTHERN TEXAS
PANHANDLE WHERE SOME DROUGHT IMPROVEMENT IS LIKELY.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

HYDROLOGIC IMPACTS.
ACCORDING TO THE USGS WATERWATCH...STREAMFLOWS IN THE TEXAS AND
OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE ARE AT NEAR NORMAL TO MUCH BELOW NORMAL LEVELS...
RESULTING IN MODERATE TO SEVERE HYDROLOGIC DROUGHT CONDITIONS. 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 EASTERN 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). RESERVOIRS REMAIN NEAR
HISTORICALLY LOW DEPTHS. LAKE MEREDITH REACHED A RECORD LOW
DEPTH OF 26.14 FEET ON AUGUST 7TH LAST YEAR...BUT LEVELS HAVE RISEN
SINCE THEN BASED ON RAIN RECEIVED THIS PAST GROWING SEASON. WITH THE
LAKE NOW ABOVE DEAD POOL...IT IS ONCE AGAIN BEING TAPPED FOR WATER
SUPPLY BY CRMWA.

RESERVOIR CONDITIONS AS OF NOVEMBER 21ST...

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

PALO DURO             2834.88         61066        1099          1.80
LAKE MEREDITH         2857.64        500000       25388          5.10
GREENBELT LAKE        2619.05         59968        7666         12.10

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THIS STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED BY DECEMBER 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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