Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Las Vegas, NV

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AXUS75 KVEF 190135
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AZZ001>003-036-CAZ519>527-NVZ014-022-300700-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
535 PM PDT FRI DEC 18 2015

...EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUE ACROSS PARTS
OF SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA AND WEST-CENTRAL NEVADA...

SYNOPSIS...FOLLOWING A WARM AND DRENCHING OCTOBER, NOVEMBER FLIPPED
THE METEOROLOGICAL TABLE OVER AND TURNED THINGS COLDER AND DRIER.
THIS NOVEMBER WAS UNUSUAL IN THAT IT RANKED NOT ONLY AS ONE THE
COLDEST NOVEMBERS ON RECORD AT SOME WEATHER STATIONS BUT ALSO WAS A
COLDER MONTH THAN THIS PAST FEBRUARY.

THE MAIN REASON FOR THE CHANGE IN THE WEATHER DURING NOVEMBER WAS A
SHIFT IN THE MAIN FLOW ALOFT IN THE ATMOSPHERE. FOR MOST OF
NOVEMBER, THE JET STREAM WAS ORIENTED FROM THE NORTHWEST TO THE
SOUTHEAST. THIS ALLOWED STORM SYSTEMS TO DIVE SOUTHEAST ACROSS THE
AREA WHICH RESULTED IN GENERALLY MOISTURE STARVED SYSTEMS FOR OUR
AREA THAT PRODUCED LITTLE IN THE WAY OF PRECIPITATION AWAY FROM
EASTERN PARTS OF LINCOLN COUNTY, NEVADA. WITH A TROUGH, OR DIP, IN
THE JET STREAM OVER OUR AREA FOR MUCH OF THE MONTH THIS RESULTED IN
A MORE FAVORABLE PATTERN FOR COLDER AIR TO FILTER ON IN AND LAST FOR
LONGER PERIODS.

THIS PATTERN HAS LARGELY HELD INTO THE FIRST HALF OF DECEMBER. AS
WAS THE CASE IN NOVEMBER, PRECIPITATION TOTALS HAVE BEEN HIGHER
ACROSS LINCOLN AND MOHAVE COUNTIES, WITH LESSER AMOUNTS TO THE WEST.
SYSTEMS HAVE IMPACTED THE AREA WITH PRECIPITATION ON DECEMBER 11TH,
13TH AND 14TH.

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 REMAIN IN D4, OR EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT.
EXTREME DROUGHT, OR D3 CONDITIONS, EXISTS ACROSS EASTERN ESMERALDA
COUNTY AND CENTRAL NYE COUNTY, NEVADA AS WELL AS WESTERN SAN
BERNARDINO COUNTY. SEVERE DROUGHT CONDITIONS, OR D2, EXIST ACROSS
SOUTHWEST LINCOLN COUNTY AND NORTHWEST CLARK COUNTY IN NEVADA AND
CENTRAL SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY. MUCH OF MOHAVE COUNTY AS WELL AS
EASTERN LINCOLN AND NORTHEASTERN AND CENTRAL CLARK COUNTIES ARE IN
D1 OR MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS. ACROSS EASTERN SAN BERNARDINO
COUNTY CONDITIONS RANGE FROM NO DROUGHT IN THE FAR SOUTHEAST TO D0,
OR ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS, TO D1 IN THE REMAINING AREAS. D0
CONDITIONS ALSO COVER THE COLORADO RIVER VALLEY IN MOHAVE COUNTY AND
FAR SOUTHERN CLARK COUNTY UP TO THE LAUGHLIN-BULLHEAD CITY AREA.

DUE TO THE SEVERITY OF THE ONGOING DROUGHT, DROUGHT CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED TO PERSIST ACROSS WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE AREA WITH THE
POTENTIAL FOR IMPROVEMENT IN EASTERN PORTIONS. THE LATEST SEASONAL
FORECAST (FROM JANUARY THROUGH MARCH OF 2016) ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER THAT SHOWS THERE IS ABOVE AVERAGE CONFIDENCE IN
ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE AREA. EQUAL CHANCES EXIST FOR
TEMPERATURES TO BE ABOVE NORMAL, NEAR NORMAL OR BELOW NORMAL DURING
THIS THREE MONTH PERIOD FOR NORTHWEST ARIZONA AND EASTERN PARTS OF
CLARK AND LINCOLN COUNTIES IN NEVADA WITH ABOVE AVERAGE CONFIDENCE
FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ELSEWHERE IN SOUTHERN NEVADA AND IN
SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL

DUE TO SIGNIFICANT WATER ALLOTMENT CUTS BY LADWP TO SOME RANCHES,
ENVIRONMENTALISTS HAVE AGREED TO CURTAIL WATER DIVERSIONS FOR
RESTORATION OF THE LOWER OWENS RIVER AND CONTROLLING DUST ON DRY
OWENS LAKE.

IN LATE OCTOBER 2015, WATER FLOWED IN THE LOS ANGELES AQUEDUCT FOR
THE FIRST TIME IN SIX MONTHS AFTER WORKERS REMOVED AN EARTHEN AND
CONCRETE DAM THAT DIVERTED WATER. A DEAL WAS REACHED TO KEEP FLOWS
IN THE OWENS RIVER. THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF POWER AND WATER
MOSTLY FULFILLED IRRIGATION CONTRACTS THIS SUMMER IN THE SOUTHERN
END OF THE OWENS VALLEY. DUE TO THE ONGOING DROUGHT, LIVESTOCK HAS
BEEN ESTIMATED TO BE REDUCED BY 40 TO 50 PERCENT IN THE OWENS
VALLEY IN RECENT YEARS.

THE 2015 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SECRETARIAL DROUGHT DESIGNATIONS
WERE ANNOUNCED. 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.

SOME FARMERS IN THE OWENS VALLEY HAVE RELOCATED CATTLE HERDS TO
IDAHO, WYOMING AND COLORADO AS WELL AS OREGON, NEVADA AND NEBRASKA.

WATER SUPPLY

THE NEVADA DROUGHT FORUM, A STATEWIDE PANEL, HAS RECOMMENDED
STATEWIDE WATER METERING, WATER EFFICIENCY STANDARDS FOR NEW
DEVELOPMENT AND ADOPTING TIER RATE STRUCTURES TO PROMOTE
CONSERVATION. THE STATE`S BIGGEST WATER USER, AGRICULTURE, WOULD BE
ENCOURAGED TO USE DRIP IRRIGATION, CROP COVERING AND CONVERT
PLANTINGS TO LESS THIRSTY VARIETIES. THE REPORT ALSO ASKS LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF THIRSTY LANDSCAPING REQUIREMENTS
SET BY MANY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS.

A KLAS TELEVISION STORY QUOTED A SOUTHERN NEVADA WATER AUTHORITY
GENERAL MANAGER MAKING A STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT THAT SOUTHERN NEVADA
IS IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE WHEN IT COMES TO WATER NOW AND FOR THE NEXT
50 YEARS.

THE VICE PRESIDENT OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL
TOLD A PANEL OF THE NEVADA DROUGHT FORUM THAT CONSERVATION EFFORTS
BY THE COMPANY HAVE SAVED ABOUT 2 BILLION GALLONS OF WATER SINCE
2008. THE COMPANY HAS INSTALLED LOW-FLOW FIXTURES AND CHANGED
METHODS FOR DOING LAUNDRY AS PART OF THEIR WATER CONSERVATION
EFFORTS.

GROUND WATER

INYO COUNTY HAS RESTRICTED WATERING TO TWO DAYS PER WEEK IN LONE
PINE, INDEPENDENCE AND LAWS.

NEVADA GOVERNOR SANDOVAL ISSUED AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ESTABLISHING A
NEVADA DROUGHT FORUM TO BRING TOGETHER THE BEST MINDS, MANAGERS AND
ALL INTERESTED STAKEHOLDERS TO ACCESS THE DROUGHT IN NEVADA. THE
FORUM WILL IDENTIFY BEST CONSERVATION PRACTICES AND POLICY NEEDS,
AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GOVERNOR REGARDING A PLAN.

THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER IS PLANNING FOUR NEW
PRODUCTION WELLS IN INYO COUNTY. ONE WILL REPLACE A WELL IN LAWS,
TWO IN BISHOP AND ONE IN BELL CANYON WEST OF BIG PINE.

THE NEVADA 78TH LEGISLATURE 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. BOTH BILLS FAILED TO GET OUT
OF COMMITTEE DURING THE NEVADA 78TH LEGISLATURE.

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 ANGELES 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.

FIRE WEATHER

THE LATEST SIGNIFICANT WILDLAND FIRE POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR THE REST
OF DECEMBER THROUGH MARCH CALLS FOR NORMAL ACTIVITY ACROSS THE
ENTIRE AREA.

AN AERIAL SURVEY WAS DONE BETWEEN AUGUST 10TH AND 14TH ACROSS THE
SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA IN SOUTHWEST INYO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA AND
SHOWED SOME POCKETS IN WHICH GREATER THAN 15 TREES PER ACRE WERE
DYING DUE TO STRESS FROM THE DROUGHT AND OTHER SOURCES SUCH AS BUGS.

WILDLIFE

THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT CONDUCTED AN EMERGENCY ROUNDUP OF WILD
HORSES IN THE SPRING MOUNTAINS OF SOUTHERN NEVADA FROM AUGUST 29TH
THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2ND IN THE COLD CREEK AREA. A TOTAL OF 201 HORSES
WERE ROUNDED UP. THE HORSES WERE SUFFERING WEIGHT LOSS DUE TO
STARVING FROM THE DROUGHT, WHICH HAS SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCED THE
AMOUNT OF VEGETATION THAT CAN GROW FOR THE HORSES TO EAT. SOME
HORSES WERE EATING THE BARK OF JOSHUA TREES BECAUSE THEY HAD NOTHING
ELSE TO EAT. A TOTAL OF 28 HORSES FROM THE 201 ROUNDED UP HAD TO BE
EUTHANIZED BECAUSE THEY WERE SO BADLY EMACIATED. THE REMAINING
HORSES WERE TAKEN TO A FACILITY TO BE FED AND NURTURED BACK TO
HEALTH.

LADWP WILL ELIMINATE WATER SUPPLIES TO THE MCNALLY WATERFOWL PONDS
AND ADJACENT 100 ACRE NATIVE PASTURELAND THIS RUNOFF YEAR. HOWEVER,
NATIVE PASTURE SOUTHEAST OF LAWS WILL CONTINUE TO BE IRRIGATED.

IN LINCOLN COUNTY, ESPECIALLY IN NORTHERN PORTIONS, WILD HORSES HAVE
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...

DATA BELOW IS OCTOBER 1ST THROUGH NOVEMBER 30TH.

 ARIZONA            PCPN     NORMAL     PER

 BEAVER DAM         0.90     1.25       72%
 PIPE SPRING NM     3.10     1.84       168%
 KINGMAN            1.28     1.51       85%
 WIKIEUP            2.18     1.52       143%

 CALIFORNIA

 BISHOP             0.75     0.82       91%
 DEATH VALLEY NP    1.30     0.25       520%
 BARSTOW-DAGGETT    0.59     0.52       113%
 NEEDLES            0.69     0.66       105%
 JOSHUA TREE        0.93     1.03       90%

 NEVADA

 LAS VEGAS          1.40     0.63       222%
 MT CHARLESTON      5.17     3.12       166%
 PAHRUMP            2.62     0.63       416%
 MESQUITE           1.13     1.35       84%
 CALIENTE           3.85     1.52       253%
 DYER               1.68     0.77       218%

 PCPN   - 2016 WATER YEAR PRECIPITATION
 NORMAL - WATER YEAR NORMAL (STARTS OCT 1)
 PER    - PERCENT OF NORMAL

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE LATEST SEASONAL FORECAST (FROM JANUARY THROUGH MARCH OF 2016)
ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER THAT SHOWS THERE IS ABOVE
AVERAGE CONFIDENCE IN ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE AREA.
EQUAL CHANCES EXIST FOR TEMPERATURES TO BE ABOVE NORMAL, NEAR NORMAL
OR BELOW NORMAL DURING THIS THREE MONTH PERIOD FOR NORTHWEST ARIZONA
AND EASTERN PARTS OF CLARK AND LINCOLN COUNTIES IN NEVADA WITH ABOVE
AVERAGE CONFIDENCE FOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ELSEWHERE IN
SOUTHERN NEVADA AND IN SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

AS OF DECEMBER 18, 2015, LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION WAS 1080.00 FEET OR
38 PERCENT CAPACITY. FOR WATER YEAR 2016 THE BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
HAS PROJECTED TO RELEASE 9.0 MAF FROM LAKE POWELL. HOWEVER,
DOWNSTREAM REQUIREMENTS FROM LAKE MEAD ARE ESTIMATED AROUND 9.525
MAF. FOR THE WATER YEAR LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION IS FORECAST TO RISE
THROUGH THE END OF FEBRUARY 2016 TO AROUND 1087 FEET, THEN LOWER
THROUGH THE SUMMER MONTHS TO AROUND 1071 FEET. LAKE MEAD HAS NOT
RECORDED LAKE LEVELS BELOW 1075 FEET SINCE THE RESERVOIR WAS BEING
FILLED IN MAY 1937.

LAKE POWELL`S CURRENT ELEVATION IS 3602.92 OR 49 PERCENT CAPACITY.

DATA FOR RESERVOIRS ACROSS THE REGION (AS OF 12/18/2015)

RESERVOIR                      PERCENT FULL

LAKE MEAD                           38
LAKE MOHAVE                         84
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, JANUARY 21, 2016. 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

$$

STACHELSKI/PIERCE
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