Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Corpus Christi, TX

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000
AXUS74 KCRP 100328
DGTCRP
TXZ229>234-239>247-120330-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Corpus Christi TX
928 PM CST Thu Feb 9 2017

...Severe Drought Conditions Now Over Portions of South Texas...

...Drought Conditions Restricted to the Coast But Abnormally Dry
Conditions Are Spreading Inland...

...Last la Nina Advisory Has Been Issued and Enso-Neutral
Conditions Are Expected Through Spring...

...Long Term Drought Outlook Calls For Drought to Persist and
Possibly Intensify Over the Coastal Counties but Not Spread
Farther West Into Inland Counties...


.SYNOPSIS...
Rainfall continued to be below normal over most of South Texas
during the month of January, especially over the areas which were
either in moderate drought or abnormally dry. Some areas over the
Victoria Crossroads and Northern Coastal Bend saw near to above
normal precipitation; however most of the region experienced
below to well below normal rainfall during January. In fact, over
the last 90 days most of the eastern coastal counties have
received anywhere from 25 to 75 percent of their normal rainfall.
While much of the Rio Grande Plains and Northern Brush Country
have received below normal rainfall over the last 90 days, average
rainfall is low for that time of year. Thus, drought conditions
have not developed farther west.

On the other hand, the lack of above normal rainfall not only for
January, but for the last 90 days over the eastern portion of the
coastal counties, has resulted in abnormally dry and drought
conditions to spread since the middle of January. Now, a small
portion of the extreme Southeastern Coastal Bend is in severe
drought.

According to the Drought Monitor Product, valid on February 7
2017: Severe Drought (D2) conditions exist over the eastern third
of Kleberg County and portions of extreme Southern Nueces County.
This area is near and east of Riviera Beach, and includes Chapman
Ranch.

Outside the D2 area, Moderate Drought (D1) conditions exist over
the eastern half of Kleberg County, the eastern half of Nueces
County, and extreme southeastern portions of San Patricio and
Aransas Counties. This area includes the city of Corpus Christi,
Loyola Beach, Petrolina, Portland, and Aransas Pass.

Outside of the D2 and D1 areas, Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions
exist over all but the western sixth of Kleberg County, all but
the western fifth of Nueces County, the eastern half of San
Patricio County, the remainder of Aransas County, the eastern half
of Refugio County, all of Calhoun County, and a small portion of
extreme Southern Victoria County. The cities of Kingsville,
Robstown, Calallen, Taft, Bayside, Rockport, Holiday Beach,
Austwell, Seadrift, and Port Lavaca are in the D0 area.

For the current drought monitor product showing drought
conditions over 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 February 9,
Nueces County has instituted a burn ban. Also, Kleberg County has
kept its 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.

Concerning water restrictions for Corpus Christi, Victoria, and
Laredo: there have been no changes. 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.

More information concerning all stages of water restrictions (and
requests for exemptions and variances) can be found at:
www.cctexas.com/government/water.

For information on any restrictions at Portland and Ingleside,
please visit:

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

Amistad lake is over 80 percent capacity, and thus no mandatory
water restrictions are in effect for the city of Laredo. Also, no
restrictions are in effect for the city of Victoria, as levels on
Canyon Dam are near capacity and flows on the Guadalupe River are
adequate.

With grasses essentially dormant, watering should occur only to
maintain adequate soil moisture. Also, only water if rainfall has
not been received for a couple of weeks. 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.

Residents should remain informed on any water restrictions which
may be imposed for their location, as any violations can result
in significant fines. More information on how to conserve water
(and drought contingency plans) is found on the city websites at
the end of this statement.

Additional locations within the Hydrologic Service Area (HSA) with
mandatory or voluntary restrictions on their public water systems
can be found at:

www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkingwater/trot/location.html

Residents can also check with their local officials or media
outlets whether water restrictions for their locale have been
added, removed, or amended.


AGRICULTURAL AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS...
The soil moisture anomaly map for February 8 shows near normal
(30 to 70 percent of normal) soil conditions over the
northwestern two-thirds of the HSA, with dry anomalies farther
southeast (-20 mm to -40 mm over extreme Southeastern Kleberg
County).

Soil moisture percentiles were near normal (30 to 70 percent)
over nearly all of the HSA, with percentiles of 20 to 30 percent
over extreme Southeastern portions of Kleberg County.

Crop moisture indices for the week ending February 4 indicate near
normal (slightly dry/favorably moist) conditions over the entire HSA.

In a recent article in AgriLife TODAY, field preparations for spring planting
are ongoing in southern regions of Texas. Dr. Carlos Fernandez, Texas A&M
AgriLife Research agronomist, said cropland preparations in the area
are on target and fields look good amid favorable conditions. The
fields are clear and farmers are preparing soil beds for planting.
Also, he said that everything looks to be on or ahead of
schedule. Herbicides and tillage have been applied to area fields,
he said.

Fernandez said soil moisture levels are good following recent
rains. There have been several dry, windy days that have depleted
topsoil moisture levels, but forecasted rains will further improve
conditions before planting begins in the next few weeks. Grain
sorghum is expected to be planted within the next two weeks with
cotton to follow, he said.

The following information was provided by the Texas Crop and
Weather Reports written January 31 and February 7:

FOR THE COASTAL BEND DISTRICT:

* Mild temperatures and adequate moisture levels were reported.

* Producers were preparing for corn planting within the next few
  weeks.

* Preplant fertilizer applications and bedding activity occurred.
  Spring-like weather prompted some peach varieties to bloom.

* Winter pastures provided much-needed grazing forage.

* Some areas reported some damage to pastures after the freeze,
  but they were greening with the above-normal temperatures.

* Cattle and calves were doing well for this time of the year,
  and livestock continued to be fed from an oversupply of older
  hay as well as plenty baled in 2016.


FOR THE WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE HSA:

*A late freeze shut most of the grass and vegetable growth down, but
    crops, rangeland and pastures began growing again following
    recent moisture and warm temperatures.

*   Pasture and range conditions were poor in some areas due to an
    earlier freeze. Supplemental feeding of livestock increased
    as a result of the freeze.

*High winds continued to cause rapid loss of soil moisture in range
    pastures in some areas.

*The planting season was expected to begin the second week in February.
    Most fields were prepared for planting.

*Mature fields of cabbage were harvested. Fresh-market and
    processed spinach harvests remained active. All cool-season
    crops made good progress following irrigation.

*   Irrigation continued in some fields, as producers prepared to
    plant corn and cotton.

*Field work started or continued for spring cotton, corn and sorghum
    planting. Potato planting continued.

*Wheat and oat crops emerged and were under irrigation throughout
    the area.

*Pasture and range conditions were fair to poor and were
    declining in most areas.

*Live Oak County experienced another freeze and two dry and windy
    northern fronts.

*Producers were actively burning old pasture grass. Cattle body
    condition scores remained fair. The cattle market was on a
    positive trend.

*Soil moisture conditions ranged from adequate to short. Warm-
    season grasses tried to green but were slowed by lack of
    moisture. Coastal Bermuda grass remained dormant and yellow.

*Some farmers applied pre-emergence herbicides and fertilizers
    in some areas.

*Conditions forced producers to apply irrigation to wheat, oats,
    cabbage, spinach, onions, carrots and broccoli.

*   Some cabbage harvesting occurred in local fields, but cabbage
    market prices were low. Crop producers also prepared to plant
    tomatoes and onions.


FIRE DANGER HAZARDS...
According to the Fire Danger Map from the Texas Inter-Agency
Coordination Center (TICC) on February 8, the fire danger varies
widely across the area, with a low to moderate fire danger over
the eastern half of the HSA (basically all but the western four
counties), with a high to extreme fire danger farther west (the
extreme danger is over western portions of La Salle County). The
forecast fire danger was moderate for February 9. Fuel moisture
levels are adequate over all of the HSA, with percentiles between
51 and 100 percent.

With fuels still cured the fire danger has been high at times,
especially when very low humidity has been over the HSA. A few
wildfires have developed over the past few weeks, and a critical
to extreme fire danger existed on January 22, as a strong cold
front brought high winds and very dry air, but no rainfall.

Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) are in the low to moderate
category over South Texas, with the highest values over Kleberg
County (500 - 600). As of February 9, county-averaged KBDI values
were:

700-800: none
600-700: none
500-600: Kleberg
400-500: Nueces, Aransas, and La Salle
300-400: Webb, Duval, Jim Wells, McMullen,
         San Patricio, Refugio, and Calhoun
200-300: Live Oak, Bee, and Goliad
0-200:   Victoria

Hopefully, expected above normal rainfall over the next several
days (6 to 10) will not only lower the fire danger but possibly
bring some drought relief to the coastal areas of the HSA.


CLIMATE SUMMARY...
Overall, January 2017 brought above normal temperatures and below
normal rainfall over most of South Texas, although some of the
Northern Coastal Bend and Victoria area received near to above
normal rainfall. The above normal temperatures and below normal
rainfall are typical of a La-Nina winter for South Texas. However,
it appears that La Nina has come to an end.

Daytime temperatures were very warm over South Texas (typical of
La Nina). Except for a few very cold days in early January where
a hard freeze hit South Texas (January 6 through January 8), average
temperatures were very warm over the region. For the month of
January, the average temperature was 5.6 degrees above normal at
Corpus Christi, 6.9 degrees above normal at Victoria, and 6.8
degrees above normal at Laredo.

The recent La Nina event has been typical for South Texas from a
climate standpoint, since rainfall since October 1 2016 (the
start of the 2017 Water Year) has been below normal for nearly all
of South Texas. Most areas in the HSA have seen between 50 and 90
percent of normal rainfall since the Water Year began. However,
where the drought conditions exist, between 25 and 50 percent of
normal rainfall has been observed. Fortunately, most of the
South Texas rainfall deficits since October 1 are two inches or
less, as most of the cool season provides low average rainfall
amounts.


The following table shows the monthly rainfall amounts so far in
February, 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:

                      Thru                        2017 Water Year
                   February 9          2017         10/01/2016 -
                                                    02/09/2017

Corpus Christi     0.69 (+0.17)     0.96  (-1.10)   5.35 (-3.63)

Victoria           0.11 (-0.53)     3.87  (+0.71)  10.99 (-2.36)

Laredo Airport      T   (-0.29)     0.01  (-1.18)   2.38 (-3.07)

For the three climate stations, the 2017 percentage of normal
rainfall is: 46.6 percent at Corpus Christi, 122.5 percent at
Victoria, and 0.9 percent at Laredo.

the 2017 Water Year percentages so far are: 59.6 percent at
Corpus Christi, 82.3 percent at Victoria, and 43.7 percent at
Laredo.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issued its final La Nina
Advisory February 9, as ENSO-neutral conditions have returned to
the equatorial Pacific Ocean. According to CPC, slightly below-
average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were observed across the
central equatorial Pacific and above-average SSTs were increasing
in the eastern Pacific. The latest weekly Nino index value in the
Nino 3.4 region was -0.3C, indicitive of ENSO-neutral
conditions.


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-May 2017). Because of typically
high uncertainty in forecasts made at this time of the year for
the upcoming spring and summer, and the lingering La Nina-like
tropical convection patterns, the forecaster consensus favors
ENSO-neutral during the spring. Thus, CPC says there is about a
60% chance for El-Nino to continue the spring of 2017.


PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS...
The rainfall forecast for the next seven days (from the evening
of February 9 through 6 AM Friday February 17) is as follows. No
significant rainfall is expected from the evening of February 9
through February 12 (a few light showers are possible over the
east), but then a wetter pattern develops early next week. There
is a chance for significant precipitation Monday through Tuesday
(February 13-14), with rain chances diminishing from west to east
Tuesday night through Wednesday (February 15). No significant
rainfall is expected after Wednesday. For the seven day period,
average rainfall amounts will range from around 1/2 inch over the
Rio Grande Plains, to around 1 1/2 inches over the Northeastern
Coastal Bend and Victoria Crossroads area.

The temperature forecast for the next seven days (from the evening
of February 9 through 6 AM Friday February 17) is as follows. A
warming trend will ensue tonight and continue through Saturday,
with above normal temperatures expected. Daytime temperatures will
diminish Sunday and especially Monday, as more clouds and rain
move into the area, and a cold front moves toward the area. Cooler
than normal temperatures are then expected by Wednesday morning
with the passage of the front. Near to slightly above normal
temperatures are expected on Thursday.

The 8 to 14 day temperature outlook (February 17 through February
23) calls above normal temperatures over the entire HSA. The 8
to 14 day rainfall outlook for the same period shows below normal
rainfall for most of the HSA, except for near normal rainfall for
the Northeastern Coastal Bend and Victoria Crossroads area.

The monthly rainfall outlook for February (issued January 31)
shows a greater likelihood for below normal rainfall over all of
South Texas.

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

With La Nina now history, the prospects for at least near normal
rainfall are improving. The CPC 3 month outlooks (February
through April 2017) for temperatures and rainfall (issued January
19) forecast a greater likelihood for above normal
temperatures, but equal chances for above/near/below normal
rainfall for all of the HSA.

The February Drought Outlook (issued January 31) calls for
drought conditions to continue (if not worsen) over the areas
already in drought, and possibly expand into the abnormally dry
areas. However, drought conditions are not expected to expand
farther west or north into the non-drought or dry areas.

The Seasonal Drought Outlook, released January 19 and valid through
April 30, calls for the drought to persist over areas in drought
(as of January 19), possibly expand over more of the coastal
counties, but not expand into inland counties of South Texas.

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


HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
According to the USGS streamflow map on February 9 2017, river
and creek levels vary over the HSA. While the Frio River, Mission
River, San Fernando Creek, Coleto Creek, and Placedo Creek are
below to well below normal, the remaining USGS controlled river
locations are near normal. Levels on the Rio Grande were elevated
for much of January due to releases from Lake Amistad (to assist
in agriculture over the Rio Grande Plains and Valley), but have
since gone back to more normal levels.

Reservoir levels over the HSA showed no significant change during
the past few weeks. Although Choke Canyon Dam and Lake Corpus
Christi fell slightly, Lake Texana and Coleto Creek showed a
slight recharge.

The following table shows the current reservoir levels as of
February 9 2017, and previous levels as of January 17 2017.

Reservoir      Normal  Current  Percent  Previous Change
                Pool     Pool  Capacity    Pool    (ft)
Choke Canyon   220.5    200.5    35.8     200.6    -0.1
Lake C. C.      94.0     93.0    62.9      93.1    -0.1
Lake Texana     44.0     44.1   100.6      43.2    +0.9
Coleto Creek    98.0     96.1     n/a      95.3    +0.8
Canyon Dam     909.0    909.3    99.8     909.0    +0.3
Lake Amistad  1117.0   1096.7    83.7    1100.1    -3.4

The combined system capacity for the Corpus Christi Reservoir
System as of February 9 was at 54.8 percent, which is 0.6
percentage points lower than on January 14.

Hopefully, some of the rainfall expected early next week helps
to provide some recharge to the Corpus Christi reservoirs.


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement will likely be issued
sometime in mid March 2017, unless drought conditions are totally
eliminated (an unlikely scenario at this time).


RELATED WEB SITES...

NWS CORPUS CHRISTI DROUGHT PAGE:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/crp/?n=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):
www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkinater/trot/location.html

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

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

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

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

City of victoria Web Site:
www.victoriatx.org

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

City of Portland Web Site:
www.portlandtx.com

Texas Crop and Weather Reports:
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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