Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS North Platte, NE

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AXUS73 KLBF 201508
DGTLBF
NEZ004>010-022>029-035>038-056>059-069>071-094-222359-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORTH PLATTE NE
907 AM CST THU FEB 20 2014

...NO CHANGE IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL
NEBRASKA DURING THE LAST MONTH...

.SYNOPSIS...

RIDGING CONTINUED TO BE ANCHORED ALONG THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED
STATES INTO ALASKA DURING THE LATTER HALF OF JANUARY. WITH THIS FLOW
REGIME...THE CENTRAL PLAINS WAS CAUGHT BETWEEN THE ARCTIC AIRMASS TO
THE EAST AND UNSEASONABLY WARM CONDITIONS TO THE WEST. NUMEROUS
ARCTIC COLD FRONTS PUSHED THROUGH WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA
IN LATE JANUARY RESULTING IN LARGE TEMPERATURE SWINGS...VERY WINDY
CONDITIONS AND LITTLE OR NO PRECIPITATION. THE FLOW PATTERN BEGAN TO
CHANGE AT THE END OF JANUARY AND PERSISTED INTO THE MIDDLE OF
FEBRUARY. THE PERSISTENT RIDGE ALONG THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED
STATES MOVED WEST INTO THE CENTRAL PACIFIC. THIS ALLOWED A BROAD
TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE EASTERN PACIFIC AND
ALONG THE WEST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES. ACROSS THE CENTRAL
PLAINS...ZONAL FLOW ALOFT DEVELOPED WHICH ALLOWED PACIFIC MOISTURE
TO STREAM OVER THE ROCKIES INTO THE CENTRAL PORTION OF THE COUNTRY.
THIS MOISTURE COMBINED WITH SEVERAL UPPER LEVEL
DISTURBANCES...PRODUCING LIGHT SNOW ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL
NEBRASKA DURING THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS OF JANUARY AND THE FIRST
HALF OF FEBRUARY. ONCE THE GROUND WAS SNOW COVERED...UNSEASONABLY
COLD TEMPERATURES FOLLOWED WHICH ALLOWED SNOW COVER TO PERSIST
THROUGH FEBRUARY 15TH.

.LOCAL AREAS AFFECTED...

AS OF FEBRUARY 20TH...ACCORDING TO THE US DROUGHT MONITOR...MODERATE
TO EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING ROUGHLY SOUTH OF
HIGHWAY 20 FROM EWING...TO HAY SPRINGS. AREAS SOUTH OF HIGHWAY 2
FROM ANTIOCH TO DUNNING...AND WEST FROM DUNNING TO EUSTIS WERE
EXPERIENCING SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS. EXTREME DROUGHT
CONTINUED ACROSS WESTERN FRONTIER...HAYES...SOUTHWESTERN
LINCOLN...EASTERN PERKINS AND EASTERN CHASE COUNTIES. NORTH OF
HIGHWAY 20...NO DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING.

.CLIMATE SUMMARY...

SUMMARY OF RECENT MONTHLY RAINFALL CONDITIONS FROM SELECTED
STATIONS ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. THE SUMMARY
INCLUDES THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTH PRECIPITATION TOTALS...FEBRUARY 2013
TO JANUARY 2014...THE PREVIOUS 6 MONTH PRECIPITATION TOTALS...AUGUST
2013 TO JANUARY 2014...THE PREVIOUS 3 MONTH PRECIPITATION
TOTALS...NOVEMBER 2013 TO JANUARY 2014...AND THE PRECIPITATION
TOTALS SO FAR IN FEBRUARY...THROUGH FEBRUARY 18.

              12 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES       6 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES

LOCATION       FEB-JAN  NORMAL   DEP   |  AUG-JAN  NORMAL    DEP
NORTH PLATTE    21.85   20.23  +1.62   |   11.24    6.64   +4.60
VALENTINE       23.42   20.02  +3.40   |    8.04    6.35   +1.69
BROKEN BOW *    25.13   23.62  +1.51   |   10.99    8.22   +2.77
IMPERIAL   *    13.40   19.14  -5.74   |    4.60    6.99   -2.09

               3 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES     THRU FEB 18 PRECIP/INCHES

LOCATION       NOV-JAN  NORMAL   DEP   |   FEB 18  NORMAL    DEP
NORTH PLATTE     0.99    1.39  -0.40   |    0.34    0.26   +0.08
VALENTINE        1.27    1.28  -0.01   |    0.26    0.26    0.00
BROKEN BOW *     0.56    1.90  -1.34   |    0.34    0.27   +0.07
IMPERIAL   *     0.85    1.33  -0.48   |    0.16    0.11   -0.04

PRIMARY LOCATION OF PRECIPITATION DATA IS FROM THE AUTOMATED
SENSORS AT THE AIRPORT.
*  PRECIPITATION DATA INCLUDES A COMBINATION OF AUTOMATED SENSORS
   AND COOPERATIVE DATA.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR THE LAST 3 MONTHS SAW A RANGE FROM ABOVE
NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL.

                           AVERAGE TEMPERATURE/DEGREE F

LOCATION      NOV  NORMAL  DEP | DEC  NORMAL  DEP | JAN  NORMAL  DEP
NORTH PLATTE  35.7  35.6  +0.1 | 23.8  25.4  -1.6 | 26.2  25.0  +1.2
VALENTINE     34.6  34.4  +0.2 | 18.5  23.8  -5.3 | 25.8  23.6  +2.2
BROKEN BOW    34.5  35.8  -1.3 | 23.1  25.5  -2.4 | 24.7  25.5  -0.8
IMPERIAL      38.0  37.7  +0.3 | 27.3  28.4  -1.1 | 29.5  28.3  +1.2

.RIVER AND RESERVOIR CONDITIONS...

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN...WHERE READINGS
BETWEEN 10 AND 50 PERCENT OF NORMAL WERE OBSERVED...RIVERS ACROSS
MOST OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA ARE RUNNING AT NEAR OR
SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL FLOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

THE FIRST HALF OF FEBRUARY BROUGHT COLD TEMPERATURES...WITH AVERAGE
TEMPERATURES NEAR 10 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL FOR THE MONTH THROUGH
FEBRUARY 20TH. MANY AREAS SAW TEMPERATURES STAY BELOW FREEZING FOR
12 DAYS WHICH CAUSED SIGNIFICANT FORMATION OF ICE ON MOST
RIVERS...STREAMS AND LAKES. ICE JAM FLOODING HAS BEEN FREQUENT THIS
SEASON...ESPECIALLY ALONG THE NIOBRARA...NORTH LOUP...AND NORTH AND
SOUTH PLATTE RIVERS. DUE TO RECENT WARM WEATHER THE MAJORITY OF
RIVERS IN THE AREA ARE NOW ICE FREE SO ICING IS NO LONGER IMACTING
FLOWS.

THE ELEVATION AT LAKE MCCONAUGHY HAS RISEN BY ALMOST 2.0 FEET OVER
THE PAST MONTH AND IS NOW ABOVE 57 PERCENT OF CAPACITY. THIS
COMPARES TO 63 PERCENT AS MEASURED ONE YEAR AGO. UPSTREAM IN THE
NORTH PLATTE RIVER SYSTEM...RESERVOIR OPERATIONS ACROSS WYOMING ARE
NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

GROUNDWATER LEVELS ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA HAVE IMPROVED TO NORMAL
LEVELS. HOWEVER...IN PARTS OF SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...MAINLY ACROSS
CHASE...SOUTHERN KEITH...PERKINS...AND WESTERN HAYES
COUNTIES...GROUND WATER LEVELS REMAIN BELOW 25 PERCENT OF NORMAL.

.FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

PERIODIC SNOW COVER FROM LATE JANUARY INTO THE FIRST PART OF
FEBRUARY LIMITED FIRE GROWTH POTENTIAL. HOWEVER...A LACK OF SNOW IN
THE FIRST PART OF THE WINTER...ALONG WITH SEVERAL DAYS OF WINDY
CONDITIONS RECENTLY HAS ALLOWED SOME AREAS TO BE FAVORABLE FOR FIRE
GROWTH IF SNOW COVER LESSENS AND FURTHER PRECIPITATION WANES.

THEREFORE...IF WARM AND DRY CONDITIONS RETURN OR A SIGNIFICANT DRY
WIND EVENT WERE TO OCCUR...THEN PERIODIC EPISODES OF LARGE FIRE
GROWTH WOULD ONCE AGAIN BECOME A CONCERN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT THE NORTH PLATTE NWS FIRE WEATHER
WEB SITE PROVIDED BELOW...OR CONTACT THE NORTH PLATTE FIRE WEATHER
FOCAL POINT /SHAWN JACOBS/ DIRECTLY.

HTTP://WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/LBF/FORECASTS/FIREWX/FIREWX.PHP

.PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS...

THE LATEST ONE MONTH OUTLOOK FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER FOR
THE MONTH OF MARCH CALLS FOR EQUAL CHANCES OF ABOVE...BELOW OR NEAR
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. THE
TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK FOR MARCH ALSO CALLS FOR EQUAL CHANCES FOR
ABOVE...BELOW OR NEAR AVERAGE TEMPERATURES. THE LATEST THREE MONTH
OUTLOOK COVERING MARCH...APRIL AND MAY AGAIN CALLS FOR EQUAL CHANCES
OF ABOVE...BELOW OR NEAR AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION.

.QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS INFORMATION
PLEASE CONTACT:

CHRIS BUTTLER
CLIMATE SERVICES FOCAL POINT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
NORTH PLATTE NE
CHRISTOPHER.BUTTLER@NOAA.GOV


.RELATED WEB SITES...

LOCAL WEATHER...CLIMATE AND WATER INFORMATION
HTTP://WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/LBF

ADDITIONAL RIVER AND RESERVOIR INFORMATION
USGS - HTTP://WATER.USGS.GOV
CNPPID - HTTP://CNPPID.COM/LAKE_LEVELS.HTM

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR
HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.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 DROUGHT
MITIGATION CENTER. INFORMATION FOR THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN
GATHERED FROM NWS AND FAA OBSERVATION SITES...STATE COOPERATIVE
EXTENSION SERVICES...USGS...AND THE CENTRAL NEBRASKA PUBLIC POWER
AND IRRIGATION DISTRICT.


.NEXT ISSUANCE...

THIS PRODUCT WILL BE ROUTINELY ISSUED ON THE THIRD THURSDAY OF
THE MONTH UNLESS DROUGHT CONDITIONS RELAX OR INTENSIFY. THE NEXT
ROUTINE ISSUANCE WILL BE MARCH 20 2014...BUT MAY BE SOONER IF
CONDITIONS CHANGE.

$$

CLB/SJ/JB/JWS/MM





















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