Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Corpus Christi, TX

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063
AXUS74 KCRP 280045
DGTCRP
TXZ229>234-239>247-300045-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Corpus Christi TX
745 PM CDT Mon Mar 27 2017

...Drought Conditions End Over South Texas...

...Monthly and Seasonal Drought Outlooks Do Not Show Drought
Conditions Spreading Into South Texas...


.SYNOPSIS...
Much needed rainfall finally moved over the drought and abnormally
dry areas of South Texas during March. Beneficial rainfall impacted
the area on March 4, as an upper level low provided plenty of lift
for the abundant moisture available, resulting in widespread rainfall.
While the heaviest rainfall during this event occurred in non-drought
areas, the coastal areas in drought received between 1 and 2 inches
during this event. Also, another upper level storm system on March
10 provided even more rainfall to the dry and drought- stricken
areas of the Hydrologic Service Area (HSA), with additional 1 to 3
inch rainfall amounts occurring over most of the drier areas.

The combination of these two events produced rainfall amounts of
4 to more than 6 inches in the drought-stricken areas, with lower
but still adequate rainfall amounts in the previously abnormally
dry areas of South Texas. This rainfall was more than 200 percent
of normal precipitation for March, and resulted in rainfall
becoming closer to normal (if not above normal) since the
beginning of the new water year (October 1 2016). As a result of
all this rainfall, drought conditions ended over South Texas.

According to the Drought Monitor Product, valid on March 21 2017,
drought and abnormally dry conditions no longer exist over South
Texas.

For the current drought monitor product showing drought conditions
over the remainder of Texas, go to the Corpus Christi Drought Page
on the web:

http://www.weather.gov/crp/drought


SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

STATE AND LOCAL ACTIONS.
According to the Texas Forest Service Burn Ban Map of March 27,
Duval County still has a burn ban. No other burn bans are in effect.

Residents planning on burning should still contact county
officials to ensure that burning is allowed, and also to see if
any restrictions on how and when to burn are in effect. If burning
is allowed, be sure it is not done during windy days with low
humidity, as this could result in a fire which could easily get
out of control.

The city of Corpus Christi continues with city-wide voluntary water
conservation efforts. Residents are asked to water only once a week on
any day they prefer, as long as it is between the hours of 6 PM and
10 AM. Go to http://www.cctexas.com/government/water for more
information. For residents in Portland and Ingleside, visit:

http://portlandtx.com
http://inglesidetx.gov

Amistad Lake is near 80 percent capacity, and Canyon Dam is
essentially full. Thus, no restrictions are imposed at Laredo
and Victoria, respectively.

Although drought conditions no longer exist, residents should
continue to conserve water. Only water your landscapes to maintain
adequate soil moisture. Also, only water if rainfall has not been
received for a week or two. Use a sprinkler which makes larger water
droplets, and avoid watering on windy days. Finally, turn soaker
hoses so that the holes are on the bottom, facing the grass.

For residents with sprinklers, turn off your sprinkler system when
rainfall has been sufficient to avoid watering when it is not
needed. Residents with sprinkler systems should also monitor their
watering to ensure their system is watering the lawn and not the
sidewalk or street.


AGRICULTURAL AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS...
The soil moisture anomaly map for March 26 shows wet to very wet
soil conditions over the HSA, including those previously in
drought. Soil moisture percentiles are at least 70 percent over
the HSA.

Crop moisture indices for the week ending March 25 indicate near
normal (slightly dry/favorably moist) conditions over the HSA.

Since drought conditions no longer exist over South Texas, there
are no drought impacts over the HSA.

The following information was provided by the Texas Crop and
Weather Report published on March 21:

FOR THE COASTAL BEND DISTRICT:

*  Most soils were still saturated from recent rains.

*  Row-crop planting continued as soil dried enough to allow producers
   to get into fields.

*  Corn was planted and was being replanted where needed due to
   heavy rainfalls.

*  Most cotton was planted and emerged.

*  Sorghum was being planted.

*  Most rice fields were prepared and ready for planting.

*  Cattle continued to be fed hay and protein and were in good shape.

*  Cattle were in good condition with minimal hay supplementation.


FOR THE WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE HSA:

*   Beneficial rainfall was received in some areas and improved forage
    growth on rangeland and pastures, but halted planting and harvesting
field activities in some areas.

*   Wheat and potato crop irrigation continued. Wheat fields headed out
    and potato fields were in the flowering stage.

*   Corn planting continued and early planted corn was in the four-leaf
    stage.

*   Summer perennial grasses continued to green up and were progressing
    in growth along with winter annual grasses.

*  Rangeland conditions were good with good forage growth for wildlife.

*   Body condition scores on cattle continued to improve.

*   Livestock producers reported no supplemental feeding activities, as
    there was plenty of good forage available.

*   Good field conditions provided producers an opportunity to plant corn,
    sorghum and some cotton.

*   Onions made good progress. Cabbage harvest continued.
    Spinach production was nearing the end


FIRE DANGER HAZARDS...
According to the Fire Danger Map from the Texas Inter-Agency
Coordination Center (TICC) on March 26, there was a moderate fire
danger over nearly all of the HSA (a low fire danger existed over
Victoria County). Although soil moisture is adequate and grasses
are green, above normal temperatures and higher winds (at times)
have kept the fire danger from remaining at low levels.

Rainfall in March brought county-averaged Keetch-Byram Drought
Indices (KBDI) to low values. Except for Webb and La Salle counties,
KBDI values over the HSA are between 0 and 200 (as of March 27).
The county-based KBDI value for Webb County is between 200 and 300,
while the KBDI value for La Salle County is between 300 and 400.

Hopefully, continued normal to above normal rainfall will keep KBDI
values at low levels for a good portion of spring, when winds over
the HSA can be moderate to strong at times.


CLIMATE SUMMARY...
Despite the near to above normal rainfall over the HSA during the
last few months, above normal temperatures continue to dominate South
Texas weather. So far in 2017, average temperatures have been above
normal, a trend which has continued essentially since the beginning
of the 2017 Water Year (October 1 2016). As of March 26, the
average temperature was 6.5 degrees above normal at Corpus
Christi, 7.7 degrees above normal at Victoria, and 7.0 degrees
above normal at Laredo. Much (if not most) of these above normal
temperatures were due to above average maximum temperatures.

The latest 90 day rainfall anomalies (ending March 26 2017) show
nearly all of the HSA with near to above normal rainfall. Below
normal rainfall amounts (percentage of normal being below 75%)
still exist over western portions of Webb County and extreme
Northwest La Salle County. For the 2016 Water Year, only extreme
Northwestern La Salle County and very isolated portions of some
coastal counties have rainfall amounts of less than 75 percent of
normal.

The following table shows the monthly rainfall amounts so far in
March (as of March 26), rainfall so far in 2017, and rainfall so far
this Water Year (starting October 1 2016). All values are in inches.
Rainfall departures from normal are shown in parenthesis:

                    Through                       2017 Water Year
                    March 26            2017        10/01/2016 -
                                                    03/26/2017

Corpus Christi     4.89 (+3.20)     7.73  (+2.57)  12.12 (+0.04)

Victoria           4.19 (+1.78)    12.79  (+5.78)  19.91 (+2.71)

Laredo Airport     2.34 (+1.32)     3.31  (+0.45)   5.68 (-1.44)

For the three climate stations ending March 26 2017, the 2017
percentage of normal rainfall is: 149.8 percent at Corpus Christi,
182.5 percent at Victoria, and 115.7 percent at Laredo.

The 2017 Water Year percentages ending March 26 are: 100.0 percent
at Corpus Christi, 115.8 percent at Victoria, and 78.1 percent at
Laredo.

ENSO-neutral (El-Nino/Southern Oscillation neutral) conditions
continue over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to the
Climate Prediction Center (CPC), near average sea surface
temperatures (SSTs) were across the central equatorial, Pacific,
and above- average SSTs were in the eastern Pacific. The latest
weekly Nino index values were near zero in the Nino-4 and Nino-3.4
regions.

According to CPC, most models predict the continuation of ENSO-neutral
(a 3-month average Nino-3.4 index between -0.5C and 0.5C) through the
Northern Hemisphere summer. However, a few dynamic models anticipate an
onset of El Nino as soon as the Northern Hemisphere spring (March
through May 2017), which may hold true considering the rapid rise of
positive temperature anomalies. However, because of typically high
uncertainty in forecasts made at this time of the year, and the
lingering La Nina-like tropical convection patterns, the forecaster
consensus favors ENSO-neutral during the spring. Thereafter, there
are increasing odds for El Nino toward the second half of 2017
(50-55% chance from approximately July through December).

In summary, ENSO-neutral conditions are favored to continue through at
least the Northern Hemisphere spring 2017, with increasing chances for
El Nino development into the fall


PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS...
The rainfall forecast for the next seven days (from the evening
of March 27 through 7 PM Monday April 3) is as follows. The chances
for showers and thunderstorms increase from west to east Tuesday night
through Wednesday, as an upper level storm system impacts the area.
As usual, the better chances for precipitation will occur over the
Northern Coastal Bend and Victoria area, with rainfall amounts averaging
between 1/4 and 1/2 inch (and lower amounts elsewhere). Rain chances
diminish Wednesday night, with no rainfall expected Thursday and Friday.
There is another chance for showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday.
Once again, the higher rainfall amounts (between 1/4 and 1/2 inch on
average) are expected over the Northern portions of the HSA, with lower
amounts farther south.

The temperature forecast for the next seven days (from the evening
of March 27 through 7 PM Monday April 3) is as follows. Slightly above
to above normal daytime temperatures are expected through the period, as
there are no strong cold fronts expected to move across the area.

The 8 to 14 day precipitation and temperature outlooks for the period
April 4 through April 10 call for below normal rainfall and above
normal temperatures respectively, over the entire HSA.

The monthly rainfall outlook for April (issued March 16) shows a
greater likelihood for above normal rainfall over essentially all
of South Texas.

The monthly temperature outlook for March (also issued March 16)
shows a greater likelihood for above normal temperatures over all
of the HSA.

The CPC 3 month outlooks (April through June 2017) for temperatures
and rainfall (issued March 16) forecast a greater likelihood for
above normal temperatures, but a greater likelihood for above
normal rainfall for all of the HSA.

The Seasonal Drought Outlook (issued March 16), valid through the
end of June, shows South Texas as remaining drought-free.

The lagged soil moisture outlook valid through the end of June
2017 calls for near to slightly above normal soil conditions over
the HSA.


HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
According to the USGS streamflow map on March 27, most South Texas
rivers and creeks are running near to slightly above normal flows.
However, below to well below normal flows were observed on Coleto
Creek, the Frio River, the Nueces River below Lake Corpus Christi,
and San Fernando Creek.

Rainfall in March has brought a slight recharge to Choke Canyon
and Lake Corpus Christi, although both locations remain below
conservation levels (especially Choke Canyon Dam). However, Lake
Texana remains is near 100 percent, and Coleto Creek is near 100%

The following table shows the current reservoir levels as of
March 27 2017, and previous levels as of March 2 2017.

Reservoir      Normal  Current  Percent  Previous Change
                Pool     Pool  Capacity    Pool    (ft)
Choke Canyon   220.5    200.6    40.3     200.3    +0.3
Lake C. C.      94.0     93.4    91.2      92.8    +0.6
Lake Texana     44.0     44.0   100.6      44.1    -0.1
Coleto Creek    98.0     98.1     n/a      97.5    +0.6
Canyon Dam     909.0    909.2   100.0     910.1    -0.9
Lake Amistad  1117.0   1095.7    81.7    1096.4    -0.7

The combined system capacity for the Corpus Christi Reservoir
System as of March 2 was at 55.7 percent, which is 1.6
percentage points higher than on March 2.


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
Since drought conditions have ended over South Texas, this
will be the last Drought Information Statement for this
event. The next Drought Information Statement will be issued
when significant drought conditions return to South Texas.


RELATED WEB SITES...

NWS CORPUS CHRISTI DROUGHT PAGE:
http://www.weather.gov/crp/drought

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS):
http://water.weather.gov/precip

U.S. Drought Monitor (includes drought and soil moisture
outlooks, drought archives and temperature/rainfall outlooks):
http://drought.unl.edu/monitor.html

U.S. Drought Monitor (includes only Texas):
http://drought.unl.edu/dm_state.htm?tx,s

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

Texas Drought Monitoring Site:
http://www.txwin.net/monitoring/meteorological/drought/indices.htm

NOAA Drought Page:
http://www.drought.noaa.gov

Drought Impact Reporter:
http://droughtreporter.unl.edu/

National Drought Mitigation Center:
http://drought.unl.edu

Texas Water Development Board Drought Website:
http://www.waterdatafortexas.org/drought/

Vegetation Drought Response Index:
http://drought.unl.edu.vegdri/vegdri_main.htm?ev

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

Weather Prediction Center (WPC):
http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI):
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/spi/spi.html

Agnews: Texas A & M Agricultural Program
(Crop and Weather Report): http://today.agrilife.org

Texas Interagency Coordination Center (TICC):
http://www.tamu.edu/ticc/

Texas Burn Bans:
http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/decban.png

Texas KBDI:
http://webgis.tamu.edu/tfs/kbdi_daily/kbdicounty.png

Texas Observed Fire Danger:
http://twc.tamu.edu/tfs/raws/rawsd.png

Texas Forecast Fire Danger:
http://twc.tamu.edu/tfs/raws/rawsfcst.png

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (water restrictions):
http://www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkinater/trot/location.html

Corpus Christi Water Department:
http://www.cctexas.com/government/water

Corpus Christi Water Conservation:
http://www.cctexas.com/assets/departments/water/files/waterconservationplan.pdf

Victoria Water Conservation:
http://www.victoriatx.org/pio/pdfs/watersavingmethods.pdf

Laredo Water Restrictions and Conservation:
http://www.ci.laredo.tx.us/utilities05/ordinance/2009_ordinance.pdf

City of victoria Web Site:
http://www.victoriatx.org

City of Laredo Web Site:
http://www.ci.laredo.tx.us

City of Portland Web Site:
http://www.portlandtx.com

Texas Crop and Weather Reports:
http://www.today.agrilife.org

Additional River Information:
NWS: http://www.weather.gov/ahps/
USGS: http://water.usgs.gov/
IBWC: http://ibwc.state.gov/


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the
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
426 Pinson Drive
Corpus Christi TX 78406
Phone: 361-289-0959
sr-crp.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$

GW



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