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
915 PM PST WED FEB 25 2015

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

SYNOPSIS...TWO STORM SYSTEMS PRODUCED BENEFICIAL PRECIPITATION
MAINLY ACROSS SOUTHERN NEVADA AND NORTHWEST ARIZONA FROM FEBRUARY
22ND THROUGH FEBRUARY 23RD AND AGAIN FROM FEBRUARY 27TH THROUGH
MARCH 3RD. THESE STORMS, ESPECIALLY THE EVENT OF FEBRUARY 22ND AND
FEBRUARY 23RD, WERE MARKED BY LOW SNOW LEVELS. HOWEVER, THEY DID
LITTLE TO BOLSTER SNOWPACK SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF
THE SIERRA NEVADA PUSHING THE SNOW DEPTH THERE TO HISTORICALLY LOW
LEVELS BY THE LATER THIRD OF MARCH.

OTHERWISE, AFTER MARCH 4TH VERY LITTLE IN THE WAY OF PRECIPITATION
FELL ACROSS THE AREA. WITH WARM WEATHER DOMINATING, THIS HAS
RESULTED IN VEGETATION BLOOMING WELL AHEAD OF NORMAL ACROSS THE AREA
BY ANYWHERE FROM TWO WEEKS TO A MONTH.

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 APRIL, MAY AND JUNE FROM THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER SHOWING A GREATER PROBABILITY OF ABOVE NORMAL
PRECIPITATION FOR SOUTHERN NEVADA, NORTHWEST ARIZONA AND THE
COLORADO RIVER VALLEY PORTION OF SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA.
THERE IS A GREATER PROBABILITY OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS
THE AREA AS WELL.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL

THE INYO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA SUPERVISORS APPROVED A 23 PERCENT
REDUCTION IN IRRIGATION IN THE BISHOP CONE OF THE LOS ANGELES
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER`S AREA. RUNOFF INTO THE BISHOP CREEK
WATERSHED IS EXPECTED TO BE 50 PERCENT OF NORMAL FOR THE YEAR. THE
IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT IN PLACE WILL RESULT IN ALLOTTED DAYS FOR
WATER TO BE AVAILABLE FOR RANCHERS. THE BISHOP CREEK WATER
ASSOCIATION IS WORKING ON CONSERVATION MEASURES ALONG WITH SOUTHERN
CALIFORNIA EDISON, THE LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER AS
WELL AS THE BISHOP PAIUTE TRIBE.

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 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 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 ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE ENTIRE
AREA FOR THE REST OF MARCH INTO APRIL. WILDFIRE ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED
TO INCREASE TO ABOVE NORMAL IN THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE SOUTHERN
SIERRA NEVADA FOR MAY AND JUNE, OTHERWISE NORMAL ACTIVITY IS
EXPECTED FOR MAY AND JUNE ACROSS THE REST OF 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...

STORM SYSTEMS IN LATE FEBRUARY AND EARLY MARCH PUSHED UP
PRECIPITATION TOTALS FOR THE WATER YEAR ESPECIALLY IN THE MOJAVE
DESERT.

ARIZONA            PCPN        NORMAL     PER   CHG

BEAVER DAM         2.64         4.82      55    +8%
PIPE SPRING NM     4.59         4.68      98    +29%
KINGMAN            4.83         6.04      80    +10%
WIKIEUP            3.73         6.44      58    +18%

CALIFORNIA

BISHOP             0.73         4.05      18    -3%
DEATH VALLEY NP    1.45         1.75      83     0%
BARSTOW-DAGGETT    1.80         2.85      63    +2%
NEEDLES            2.39         3.21      74    +21%
JOSHUA TREE        1.78         3.51      51    +6%

NEVADA

LAS VEGAS          1.99         2.87      69    +13%
MT CHARLESTON      8.64        16.94      51    +3%
PAHRUMP            2.81         3.40      83    +1%
MESQUITE           3.16         5.26      60    +8%
CALIENTE           3.10         5.47      57     0%
DYER               1.38         2.70      51    -17%

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

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE LATEST SEASONAL FORECAST (APRIL THROUGH JUNE)...ISSUED BY THE
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...THERE IS SLIGHTLY ABOVE AVERAGE
CONFIDENCE FOR ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS ARIZONA, SOUTHERN
NEVADA AND THE COLORADO RIVER VALLEY OF SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY,
CALIFORNIA WITH EQUAL CHANCES FOR ABOVE NORMAL, NEAR NORMAL OR BELOW
NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE REST OF CALIFORNIA. THERE IS ABOVE
AVERAGE CONFIDENCE IN ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE ENTIRE
AREA WITH THE GREATEST CONFIDENCE OVER SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

MID-MARCH UPDATE FOR THE COLORADO RIVER BASIN, MODEL GUIDANCE HAS
TRENDED WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS DOWNWARD OVER THE MAJORITY OF THE
BASIN. APRIL-JULY RUNOFF VOLUMES CLOSEST TO AVERAGE CONTINUE TO BE
IN THE GREEN RIVER ABOVE FONTENELLE, COLORADO RIVER HEADWATERS, AND
THE SOUTHEAST PORTION OF THE GUNNISION RIVER BASIN. THE REMAINING
AREA IN THE GREEN AND COLORADO RIVER BASINS BELOW AVERAGE RUNOFF IS
LIKELY. FROM MARCH 1, LAKE POWELL INFLOW FORECAST DECREASED FROM 71
TO 68 PERCENT OF AVERAGE AND IS NOW AT 4.85 MILLION ACRE-FEET.

AS OF MARCH 25 2015, LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION WAS 1085.8 FEET OR 40
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 REQUIREMENTS ARE ESTIMATED
AROUND 9.687 MAF. LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION/STORAGE WILL PEAK IN EARLY
SPRING BEFORE DECLINING THROUGH THE REST OF THE 2015 WATER YEAR.
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 3592.2 OR 45 PERCENT CAPACITY.

DATA FOR RESERVOIRS ACROSS THE REGION (AS OF 3/25/2015)

RESERVOIR                      PERCENT FULL

LAKE MEAD                           40
LAKE MOHAVE                         95
LAKE HAVASU                         93

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, APRIL 16, 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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