Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Las Vegas, NV

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AZZ001>003-036-CAZ519>527-NVZ014-022-300700-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
1042 AM PST WED FEB 18 2015

...DROUGHT CONDITIONS DETERIORATE IN THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE
SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA BUT REMAIN THE SAME ELSEWHERE...

SYNOPSIS...AFTER BENEFICIAL PRECIPITATION FELL ACROSS THE AREA IN
DECEMBER 2014 AND JANUARY 2015, FEBRUARY 2015 HAS TURNED OUT
EXCEPTIONALLY DRY. A PERSISTENT AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE ALOFT,
PRIMARILY LOCATED OVER OR JUST OFFSHORE OF CALIFORNIA, HAS KEPT THE
MAIN STORM TRACK WELL AWAY FROM THE AREA RESULTING IN DEARTH OF
PRECIPITATION SO FAR THIS MONTH IN MANY AREAS. OUTSIDE OF ONE LIGHT
PRECIPITATION EVENT ON FEBRUARY 7TH AND 8TH THAT PRODUCED
PRECIPITATION IN PARTS OF THE AREA, MOST OF FEBRUARY HAS BEEN
DOMINATED BY DRY AND WARM CONDITIONS WITH RECORD HIGH TEMPERATURES
COMMON. WARMER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS SO FAR THIS WINTER CONTINUE TO
CONTRIBUTE TO BELOW NORMAL SNOWPACK IN THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS. THIS
HAS RESULTED IN DETERIORATING CONDITIONS OF THE SNOWPACK AS IT
MELTS, ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA.

THE LATEST U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR DEPICTS THAT THE EASTERN SLOPES OF
THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA, THE WHITE MOUNTAINS OF INYO COUNTY, THE
NORTHERN PORTION OF THE OWENS VALLEY OF CALIFORNIA AND WESTERN
ESMERALDA COUNTY, NEVADA ARE NOW IN D4, OR EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT.
EXTREME DROUGHT, OR D3 CONDITIONS, EXISTS ACROSS EASTERN ESMERALDA
COUNTY AND CENTRAL NYE COUNTY, NEVADA AS WELL AS FAR NORTHWESTERN
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY ALL BUT FAR SOUTHEAST INYO COUNTY IN
CALIFORNIA AS WELL AS FAR NORTHEAST MOHAVE COUNTY, ARIZONA. SEVERE
DROUGHT CONDITIONS, OR D2, EXIST ACROSS SOUTHWEST LINCOLN COUNTY
AND NORTHWEST CLARK COUNTY IN NEVADA, CENTRAL SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
AND NORTHEAST MOHAVE COUNTY. DUE TO THE SEVERITY OF THE ONGOING
DROUGHT, DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PERSIST ACROSS THE AREA
DESPITE THE 90 DAY OUTLOOK FOR MARCH, APRIL AND MAY FROM THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER SHOWING A GREATER PROBABILITY OF ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, SOUTHERN NEVADA AND NORTHWEST
ARIZONA. THERE IS A GREATER PROBABILITY OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES
ACROSS THE AREA AS WELL.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL

THE 2015 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SECRETARIAL DROUGHT DESIGNATIONS
WERE ANNOUNCED EARLIER IN THE MONTH. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF
AGRICULTURE DESIGNATED CLARK, NYE, AND ESMERALDA COUNTIES IN NEVADA,
INYO AND SAN BERNARDINO COUNTIES IN CALIFORNIA AS PRIMARY NATURAL
DISASTER AREAS DUE TO THE ONGOING DROUGHT. LINCOLN COUNTY NEVADA AND
MOHAVE COUNTY ARIZONA QUALIFY AS CONTIGUOUS COUNTIES. FARM AND RANCH
OPERATORS IN THOSE COUNTIES ALL QUALIFY FOR LOW INTEREST EMERGENCY
LOANS FROM THE USDA FARM SERVICE AGENCY, PROVIDED ELIGIBILITY
REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.

LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS USING RANGELAND MAY NEED TO PROVIDE SUPPLEMENTAL
FEED FOR CATTLE. SOME RANCHERS IN NORTHWEST ARIZONA, THE OWENS
VALLEY OF CALIFORNIA AND LINCOLN COUNTY, NEVADA HAVE INCREASED WATER
HAULS FOR LIVESTOCK.

GROUND WATER

THE NEVADA SENATE GOVERNMENT AFFAIR COMMITTEE IS DISCUSSING TWO
BILLS RELATED TO GROUND WATER. SENATE BILL 65 WOULD UPDATE LANGUAGE
AFFECTING WATER RIGHTS AND GROUNDWATER AS WELL AS IMPLEMENT SEVERAL
CHANGES TO LAWS AFFECTING DOMESTIC WELLS. SENATE BILL 81 EXPANDS
THE POWER OF THE STATE`S WATER AUTHORITY TO GOVERN AND MANAGE
GROUNDWATER SHORTAGES IN AREAS SUFFERING FROM SEVERE DROUGHT.

INYO COUNTY SUPERVISORS PASSED A THREE-PAGE DROUGHT PROCLAMATION FOR
INYO COUNTY. THEY NOTED THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE SITUATION BY
POINTING OUT THE VERY LOW SNOWPACK IN THE SOUTHERN SIERRA, DRY WELLS
AROUND BISHOP AND CONCERNS ABOUT USE OF WATER ON THE DRY LAKE AND
THE NEED FOR LOS ANGLES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER AND INYO
COUNTY TO PLAN FOR DRY TIMES.

RECREATION/TOURISM

THE LOW LAKE LEVELS IN LAKE MEAD CONTINUE TO IMPACT RECREATIONAL
BOATING CHANNELS BY REDUCING AREAS THAT BOATS CAN PASS THROUGH. THE
FALLING LAKE LEVEL HAS RESULTED IN THE CONTINUED CLOSURE OF THE ECHO
BAY MARINA AND BOAT LAUNCH RAMP AT ECHO BAY.

NATURAL SPRINGS IN THE SHEEP MOUNTAIN RANGE IN SOUTHERN NEVADA HAVE
RUN DRY IN SOME INSTANCES FORCING HIKERS TO HAVE TO BRING WATER WITH
THEM.

THE LACK OF SNOW HAS RESULTED IN THE SNOW TUBING AREA ON MT
CHARLESTON AT THE LAS VEGAS SKI AND SNOWBOARD RESORT BEING CLOSED.

THE NATURAL SPRING THAT PROVIDED WATER TO THE MOUNT CHARLESTON YOUTH
CAMP HAS STOPPED FLOWING. CLARK COUNTY WILL NEED TO SPEND ABOUT
$250,000 FOR WATER SHIPMENTS OVER A 38 WEEK PERIOD.

FIRE WEATHER

NORMAL SIGNIFICANT WILDFIRE POTENTIAL IS EXPECTED FOR THE REST OF
FEBRUARY AS WELL AS MARCH AND APRIL ACROSS THE AREA.

THE ROUND FIRE DEVELOPED IN FAR NORTHWEST INYO COUNTY JUST NORTHWEST
OF BISHOP AND CROSSED THE COUNTY LINE INTO MONO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
ON FEBRUARY 6TH BURNING THOUSANDS OF ACRES.

WILDLIFE

IN LINCOLN COUNTY, ESPECIALLY IN NORTHERN PORTIONS, WILD HORSES HAVE
BEGUN TO COME ONTO GRAZING LANDS AND EAT FORAGE INTENDED FOR GRAZING
CATTLE AND OTHER WILDLIFE. THIS HAS RESULTED IN DAMAGE TO SOME
GRAZING LANDS.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

JANUARY PRODUCED WETTER THAN NORMAL CONDITIONS MAINLY ACROSS THE
MOJAVE DESERT. HOWEVER IN FEBRUARY, THE AREA HAS REVERTED BACK TO
BEING DRY UNDER A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE. TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN
MUCH WARMER THAN NORMAL.


ARIZONA            PCPN        NORMAL     PER   CHG

BEAVER DAM         1.61         3.41      47    -7%
PIPE SPRING NM     2.30         3.39      69    -3%
KINGMAN            2.95         4.24      70    -17%
WIKIEUP            1.83         4.49      40    -2%

CALIFORNIA

BISHOP             0.68         3.17      21     0%
DEATH VALLEY NP    1.03         1.24      83    -12%
BARSTOW-DAGGETT    1.24         2.05      61    -16%
NEEDLES            1.16         2.19      53    +20%
JOSHUA TREE        1.09         2.42      45    +11%

NEVADA

LAS VEGAS          1.17         2.10      56    +2%
MT CHARLESTON      6.21        12.98      48    -4%
PAHRUMP            1.93         2.35      82   -19%
MESQUITE           1.71         3.30      52    -9%
CALIENTE           2.04         3.59      57    +6%
DYER               1.33         1.96      68   -23%

PCPN   - OCTOBER 1 - FEBRUARY 17 2015
NORMAL - WATER YEAR NORMAL (STARTS OCT 1)
PER    - PERCENT OF NORMAL
CHG    - CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS MONTH

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE LATEST SEASONAL FORECAST (MARCH THROUGH MAY)...ISSUED BY THE
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...THERE IS SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE
CONFIDENCE FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS ARIZONA AND ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS PARTS OF SAN BERNARDINO, INYO AND
ESMERALDA COUNTIES.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

FOR THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN, ABOVE AVERAGE APRIL-JULY RUNOFF
VOLUMES ARE EXPECTED IN THE BLUE RIVER DRAINAGE OF THE COLORADO
RIVER HEADWATERS AND GREEN RIVER BASIN ABOVE WARREN BRIDGE. NEAR TO
SLIGHTLY BELOW AVERAGE APRIL-JULY RUNOFF VOLUMES ARE EXPECTED
ELSEWHERE IN THE GREEN RIVER ABOVE FLAMING GORGE RESERVOIR, COLORADO
RIVER ABOVE KREMMLING, AND GUNNISON RIVER BASIN ABOVE BLUE MESA
RESERVOIR. BELOW AVERAGE RUNOFF VOLUMES ARE EXPECTED IN ALL OTHER
AREAS. LOWEST PERCENT OF AVERAGE VOLUMES ARE EXPECTED IN THE SAN
JUAN RIVER BASIN ABOVE NAVAJO RESERVOIR, VIRGIN RIVER BASIN, PARTS
OF THE DUCHESNE RIVER BASIN, AND IN THE GREAT BASIN.

AS OF FEBRUARY 17 2015, LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION WAS 1089.0 FEET OR 41
PERCENT CAPACITY. THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION HAS PROJECTED TO RELEASE
9.0 MAF FROM LAKE POWELL IN WATER YEAR 2015...UP FROM THE 7.48 MAF
FOR 2014 WATER YEAR. HOWEVER, DOWNSTREAM REQUIREMENT ARE ESTIMATED
AROUND 9.687 MAF. LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION/STORAGE WILL PEAK DURING
LATE FEBRUARY-EARLY MARCH 2015 BEFORE DECLINING THROUGH THE REST OF
SPRING AND SUMMER. THE ELEVATION IS PROJECTED TO DROP BELOW 1080.0
FEET BY LATE APRIL OR EARLY MAY. LAKE MEAD HAS NOT RECORDED LAKE
LEVELS BELOW 1080 FEET SINCE THE RESERVOIR WAS BEING FILLED IN MAY
1937.

LAKE POWELL`S ELEVATION WAS 3592.8 OR 46 PERCENT CAPACITY.

DATA FOR RESERVOIRS ACROSS THE REGION (AS OF 1/17/2015)

RESERVOIR                      PERCENT FULL

LAKE MEAD                           41
LAKE MOHAVE                         93
LAKE HAVASU                         88

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENTS ARE NORMALLY ISSUED ON THE THIRD
THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH IN WHICH EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS EXIST IN
ANY PORTION OF THE SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN AND MOJAVE DESERT. THE NEXT
SCHEDULED ISSUANCE IS THURSDAY, MARCH 19, 2015. IF A SIGNIFICANT
CHANGE IN THE DROUGHT CONDITION IS ANTICIPATED...OR OCCURS PRIOR TO
THIS DATE...AN UPDATED STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED.
&&

RELATED WEBSITES...

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING WEB SITES:

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR
DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM
WWW.DROUGHT.GOV

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER
WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE     WATER.WEATHER.GOV/AHPS
USGS                         WATER.USGS.GOV/
COLORADO BASIN RFC           WWW.CBRFC.NOAA.GOV
CALIFORNIA-NEVADA RFC        WWW.CNRFC.NOAA.GOV

ADDITIONAL SITES:

NEVADA DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES   WATER.NV.GOV
CALIFORNIA DEPT OF WATER RESOURCES   WWW.WATER.CA.GOV
ARIZONA DEPT OF WATER RESOURCES      WWW.AZWATER.GOV

NEVADA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE          WWW.CLIMATE.UNR.EDU
CALIFORNIA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE      WWW.CLIMATE.WATER.CA.GOV
ARIZONA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE         AZCLIMATE.ASU.EDU
WESTERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER        WWW.WRCC.DRI.EDU

NWS FORECAST OFFICE LAS VEGAS        WEATHER.GOV/LASVEGAS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL AND WESTERN REGIONAL CLIMATIC
DATA CENTERS...THE USDA...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTER CLIMATOLOGISTS
AND THE NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...PLEASE CONTACT:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - LAS VEGAS
PHONE...702-263-9744
W-VEF.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

WFO LAS VEGAS






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