Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Oklahoma City, OK

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Norman OK
1230 PM CST Thu Feb 1 2018

...SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT COVERS THE WESTERN HALF OF OKLAHOMA AND
WESTERN NORTH TEXAS...

...MODERATE DROUGHT COVERS PARTS OF SOUTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA...

Synopsis... According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, dated 30 January
2018, extreme drought conditions were occurring generally along and
west of a Wichita Falls to Clinton and Cherokee line.

Elsewhere, severe drought was impacting the rest of Oklahoma with
the exception of northeastern and southeastern Oklahoma, where
a moderate drought was noted.

The U.S. Drought Monitor uses five classifications, labeled
D0-D4

Drought Levels...

D0 - Abnormally Dry (not in drought but showing dryness)
D1 - Moderate Drought
D2 - Severe Drought
D3 - Extreme Drought
D4 - Exceptional Drought


A graphical depiction of drought conditions may be found online at
the National Weather Service Norman home page and the United States
Drought Monitor page.


Climate Summary...

Following a very wet and cooler than average August 2017, most of
Oklahoma and western north Texas were "drought free".  In early
October, a large part of Oklahoma and western north Texas received
much needed rain following a rather dry and warm September 2017.
However, this would be the start of an extremely dry period,
especially across the western third of Oklahoma and western north
Texas.  In fact, according to the Oklahoma Mesonet, most sites west
of a Cherokee to Clinton and Frederick line, have received less than
a quarter of an inch of precipitation since early October. The very
dry conditions also extend southward into western north Texas.


Precipitation last 90 days (November - January)


CLIMATE       TOTAL          DEPARTURE          RANK SINCE
DIVISION  PRECIPITATION     FROM NORMAL            1921

--------     --------       -----------         ----------
N.CENTRAL      0.35"          - 3.51"            1st  driest
W.CENTRAL      0.23"          - 3.33"            1st  driest
CENTRAL        1.19"          - 4.47"            3rd  driest
SOUTHWEST      0.43"          - 3.71"            2nd  driest
S.CENTRAL      2.23"          - 4.99"            5th  driest
SOUTHEAST      6.86"          - 4.58"            20th driest
STATEWIDE      1.17"          - 4.21"            3rd  driest

OKLAHOMA CITY  0.95"           -4.30"            4th  driest


WESTERN NORTH TEXAS STATIONS

WICHITA FALLS  1.08"            -3.33"           8th  driest




Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

The Climate Prediction Center 8-14 Day Outlook calls for slightly
better chances of below average precipitation, especially western
Oklahoma and western north Texas.

The three month outlook from the Climate Prediction Center, which
covers the period of February through April, indicates somewhat
better chances of below average precipitation and above average
temperatures.

Summary of Impacts...

Fire Impacts: According to the Oklahoma Forestry Services, fuel load
is high, due to cured dense vegetation from the 2017 growing season.
This, combined with well below normal precipitation, will result in
conditions very conducive for wildfires, especially on warm and
windy days.

Agriculture:
According to the USDA, well below average precipitation has had
an adverse impact on some crops.

Rating                     Good        Fair        Poor to Very Poor
(as of December 31, 2017)

Hard Red Winter Wheat       15%          43%             42%
Canola                      19%          50%             31%
Pasture and range           16%          53%             31%



Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 7-day average
streamflow was near to below normal across all of the river basins
in central, southern, and western Oklahoma, and western north Texas.
A few rivers were also much below normal, with streamflow less than
the tenth percentile.

With respect to hydrologic drought conditions, severe drought
conditions were present in the Wolf Creek basin in northwestern
Oklahoma. Moderate drought conditions were occurring in the
Cimarron, North Canadian, and upper Canadian river basins in
northwestern through central Oklahoma. Moderate drought conditions
were also occurring in several tributaries of the Red River, as well
as the lower Red river basin in southern Oklahoma. Moderate to
severe drought conditions were present in the Wichita River basin in
western north Texas.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), the Oklahoma
Water Resources Board (OWRB), and the Texas Water Development Board
(TDWB), the majority of the area reservoirs were at or near the top
of their conservation pools. Specific data for these reservoirs is
listed in the table below.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Top of   Current  Percent
Reservoir              Normal    Pool       of
                        Pool     Elev     Normal
                      (FT MSL) (FT MSL)    Pool
------------------------------------------------------------

*** Arkansas River Basin ***

Great Salt Plains Lake 1125.0   1125.08    100%
* Kaw Lake             1009.0   1010.47    100%
Fort Supply Lake       2004.0   2004.57    101%
Canton Lake            1615.4   1614.94     97%
Lake Overholser        1242.0   1240.54    104%
Arcadia Lake           1006.0   1006.06    100%
Lake Thunderbird       1039.0   1038.45     97%

*** Red River Basin ***

Altus Lake             1559.0   1551.26     68%
Tom Steed Lake         1411.0   1410.95    100%
Lake Ellsworth         1235.0   1232.60    100%
Lake Lawtonka          1345.6   1342.43     96%
Lake Kemp              1144.0   1142.40     91%
Lake Kickapoo          1045.0   1042.47     84%
Lake Arrowhead          926.4    923.55     85%
Waurika Lake            951.4    951.01     98%
Foss Lake              1642.0   1641.41     97%
Fort Cobb Lake         1342.0   1342.39    102%
Arbuckle Lake           872.0    870.99     96%
Lake Texoma             615.0    616.61    102%
Atoka Lake              590.0    582.59     68%
McGee Creek Lake        577.1    574.75     92%

*** Brazos River Basin ***

Millers Creek Rsvr.    1334.5   1332.89     91%

---------------------------------------------------------------------

RESTRICTIONS...

In Oklahoma, a governor`s burn ban is in effect through February
16, 2018 for roughly the western half of Oklahoma. Elsewhere, a
few counties in southeast Oklahoma have county burn bans.

In western north Texas, Archer, Baylor, Clay, and Wilbarger counties
have outdoor burn bans.

Oklahoma City has a year-round odd/even water restriction plan.


Next Issuance Date...

This statement will be updated on or around March 1st.


&&

Related Websites...

National Weather Service Norman
http://weather.gov/oun/

Oklahoma Climatological Survey
http://climate.ok.gov/index.php/climate/category/drought_wildfire

NOAA Drought Information Center:
http://noaanews.noaa.gov/drought

USDS - National Agricultural Statistics Service
https://www.nass.usda.gov/

Climate Prediction Center
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)
http://www.drought.gov

U.S. Drought Monitor
http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District
http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil

Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center
http://weather.gov/abrfc/drought

USGS WaterWatch - Streamflow conditions
https://waterwatch.usgs.gov

Oklahoma Forestry Services
http://www.forestry.ok.gov

Texas A&M Forest Service
http://tfsdev.tamu.edu

Acknowledgments...

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a collaborative effort between
several government and academic partners including the NWS, the
National Climatic Data Center, the USDA, state and regional
climatologists, and the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Information for this statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA
observation sites, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the USACE
and the USGS. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly national product
issued on Thursday morning using data collected through the previous
Tuesday morning, so it does not consider precipitation which has
fallen after the data cut-off time.

Questions or Comments...

If you have any questions or comments about this drought
information statement, please contact,

National Weather Service Norman
National Weather Center
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
Suite 2400
Norman, OK 73072
Phone: (405) 325-3816
Email: sr-oun.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$



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