Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Boise, ID

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AXUS75 KBOI 220212
DGTBOI

AXUS75 KBOI DDHHMM
DGTBOI
IDC001-003-005-007-009-011-013-015-017-019-021-023-025-027-029-031-
033-035-037-039-041-043-045-047-049-051-053-055-057-059-061-063-
065-067-071-073-075-077-079-081-083-085-087-ORC001-025-045-221200-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BOISE IDAHO
812 PM MDT SAT MAR 22 2015

...DROUGHT CONTINUES ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTHERN IDAHO AND SOUTHEAST
OREGON...

SYNOPSIS...

ACCORDING TO THE MARCH 17 U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...IN SOUTHERN IDAHO
...MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT (D1 AND D2 CLASSIFICATION) EXISTS
ACROSS MUCH OF THE UPPER SNAKE PLAIN (MAINLY NORTH OF THE SNAKE
RIVER)...THE WOOD RIVER AND LOST RIVER BASINS...ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL
IDAHO AND OWYHEE COUNTY...AND ACROSS MUCH OF WASHINGTON AND ADAMS
COUNTIES. EXTREME DROUGHT (D3 CLASSIFICATION) EXISTS ACROSS FAR
WESTERN OWYHEE COUNTY AND FAR SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON COUNTY. IN
SOUTHEAST OREGON...EXTREME DROUGHT (D3 CLASSIFICATION) EXTENDS
ACROSS HARNEY AND MALHEUR COUNTIES AND SOUTHERN BAKER COUNTY...WITH
MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT (D1 AND D2 CLASSIFICATION) ACROSS
NORTHERN BAKER COUNTY.

DROUGHT SEVERITY CLASSIFICATION POSSIBLE IMPACTS...
(D1)MODERATE DROUGHT...
SOME DAMAGE TO CROPS. SHORT TERM DRYNESS SLOWING PLANTING AND GROWTH
OF CROPS AND PASTURES. SOME WATER SHORTAGES DEVELOPING OR IMMINENT.
VOLUNTARY WATER USE RESTRICTIONS REQUESTED.

(D2)SEVERE DROUGHT...
CROPS OR PASTURE LOSSES LIKELY. WATER SHORTAGES COMMON. WATER
RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED.

(D3)EXTREME DROUGHT...
MAJOR CROP OR PASTURE LOSSES. WIDESPREAD WATER SHORTAGES OR
RESTRICTIONS.

(D4)EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT...
EXCEPTIONAL AND WIDESPREAD CROP OR PASTURE LOSSES. SHORTAGES OF
WATER IN RESERVOIRS...STREAMS AND WELLS CREATING WATER EMERGENCIES.

THE SEASONAL OUTLOOK INDICATES THAT DROUGHT WILL PERSIST OR
INTENSIFY THROUGH THE END OF MAY FOR AREAS THAT ARE ALREADY
EXPERIENCING DROUGHT...EXCEPT FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF SOME
IMPROVEMENT ACROSS EASTERN IDAHO.

SUMMARY OF REPORTED IMPACTS...

A NUMBER OF SMALLER RESERVOIRS IN SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO ARE HOLDING
BELOW AVERAGE STORAGE. IN EASTERN OREGON...LARGE RESERVOIRS ARE
HOLDING WELL BELOW AVERAGE STORAGE.

IN SOUTHEAST OREGON...MALHEUR COUNTY IRRIGATORS ARE FACING ANOTHER
YEAR OF WELL BELOW NORMAL WATER ALLOTMENTS AND A SHORTENED
IRRIGATION SEASON. LONG TERM DROUGHT HAS FORCED SOME RANCHERS OUT OF
BUSINESS. NUMEROUS DROUGHT PERMIT WELLS ARE EXPECTED AGAIN THIS
YEAR. OFFICIALS FOR THE OWYHEE RESERVOIR PROJECT ESTIMATE THE 50000
ACRES THAT NORMALLY RECEIVE IRRIGATION WATER WILL NOT RECEIVE ANY
THIS YEAR. SOME FARMERS HAVE CHANGED CROPS OR ARE DRILLING WELLS TO
MITIGATE DAMAGE. MORE CEREAL CROPS HAVE BEEN PLANTED IN LATE
FEBRUARY AND EARLY MARCH BECAUSE THEY FINISH DURING THE FIRST PART
OF JULY AND USE LESS WATER.

THE OREGON GOVERNOR HAS SIGNED AN EMERGENCY DROUGHT DECLARATION FOR
MALHEUR COUNTY. BAKER AND HARNEY COUNTIES IN OREGON HAVE STARTED THE
PROCESS TO REQUEST DROUGHT DECLARATIONS.

GROUND WATER IS BEING IMPACTED BY LONG TERM DROUGHT WITH OVERALL
DECLINES IN THE SNAKE PLAIN AQUIFER. AQUIFER DECLINES ARE EVIDENT IN
DECREASED REACH GAINS ON THE SNAKE RIVER BETWEEN MILNER AND KING
HILL...IN ADDITION TO FALLING GROUND WATER DEPTHS.

THE LATEST WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS FROM THE NORTHWEST RIVER FORECAST
CENTER INDICATE WELL BELOW AVERAGE RUNOFF VOLUMES DURING THE APRIL
THROUGH SEPTEMBER PERIOD FOR MUCH OF THE AREA. FOR MOST OF SOUTHEAST
OREGON AND FAR SOUTHWEST IDAHO...ONLY 20 TO 35 PERCENT OF AVERAGE IS
FORECAST. FOR THE CLEARWATER...SALMON...AND SNAKE RIVER HEADWATERS
REGIONS...ABOUT 70 TO 90 PERCENT OF AVERAGE IS FORECAST. FORECASTS
FOR THE REST OF IDAHO AND NORTHEAST BAKER COUNTY IN OREGON INDICATE
ABOUT 50 TO 70 PERCENT OF AVERAGE.

ACCORDING TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FARM SERVICE
AGENCY...AS OF MARCH 18 2015...TWIN FALLS COUNTY AND OWYHEE COUNTY
HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED AS PRIMARY DROUGHT DISASTER COUNTIES.
CONTIGUOUS DROUGHT DISASTER COUNTIES IN IDAHO INCLUDE ADA...CASSIA
...ELMORE...GOODING...JEROME...AND ONEIDA. IN SOUTHEAST OREGON...
BAKER...MALHEUR AND HARNEY ARE CONTIGUOUS DROUGHT DISASTER COUNTIES.
ANY COUNTY DECLARED A PRIMARY OR CONTIGUOUS DISASTER COUNTY MAKES
PRODUCERS IN THAT COUNTY ELIGIBLE FOR CERTAIN EMERGENCY AID. SEE THE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE WEB SITE IN THE RELATED WEB SITES
SECTION BELOW FOR DETAILS.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

AS OF MARCH 20...PRECIPITATION FOR THE 2015 WATER YEAR WAS BELOW
AVERAGE FOR MOST OF EASTERN...SOUTH CENTRAL...AND FAR SOUTHWEST
IDAHO...AS WELL AS FOR MALHEUR COUNTY AND WESTERN BAKER COUNTY IN
OREGON. FOR THE REST OF IDAHO AND SOUTHEAST OREGON...WATER YEAR
PRECIPITATION WAS GENERALLY NEAR NORMAL.

NRCS SNOTEL DATA AS OF MARCH 20...FOR IDAHO INDICATED 40 TO 50
PERCENT OF MEDIAN SNOWPACK FOR THE SPOKANE BASIN AND PANHANDLE
REGION...AND 20 TO 30 PERCENT OF MEDIAN FOR THE OWYHEE AND WEISER
BASINS. OTHERWISE...BASIN SNOWPACK ACROSS THE REST OF IDAHO RANGED
FROM ABOUT 55 TO 80 PERCENT OF MEDIAN...EXCEPT NEAR 90 PERCENT OF
MEDIAN FOR THE SNAKE BASIN ABOVE PALISADES. ACROSS SOUTHEAST
OREGON...SNOWPACK RANGED FROM 10 TO 35 PERCENT OF MEDIAN.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES OVER THE 60 DAY PERIOD FROM JANUARY 20 TO MARCH
20 WERE 5 TO 10 DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE FOR THE SOUTHERN HALF OF IDAHO
AND ACROSS SOUTHEAST OREGON. FOR THE NORTHERN HALF OF IDAHO...
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN ABOUT 4 TO 6 DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE FOR
THE 60 DAY PERIOD.

BELOW IS A LIST OF PRECIPITATION DATA FOR SELECTED LOCATIONS IN
IDAHO AND SOUTHEAST OREGON FOR THE 2015 WATER YEAR.

       OCT 1 2014-MAR 19 2015      NORMAL     DEPARTURE    LAST
        TOTAL PRECIP(INCHES)       VALUE     FROM NORMAL   YEAR

BOISE            8.22               6.71        1.51       7.47
MCCALL          13.90              10.86        3.04      13.07
TWIN FALLS       4.41               5.56       -1.15       3.72
POCATELLO        3.64               5.97       -2.33       4.46
IDAHO FALLS      1.91               4.44       -2.53       4.71
CHALLIS          2.39               3.47       -1.08       2.37
STANLEY         10.45               9.17        1.28      12.13
LEWISTON         6.80               5.67        1.13       4.60
BAKER CITY, OR   3.43               4.38       -0.95       3.66
BURNS, OR        5.95               6.40       -0.45       3.85
ROME, OR         2.72               4.17       -1.45       1.11


PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE OUTLOOK FOR THE REMAINDER OF MARCH FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES AND BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE REGION.

THE THREE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR APRIL THROUGH JUNE FAVORS ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURES. MEANWHILE...THERE ARE EQUAL CHANCES OF EITHER ABOVE
NORMAL...NORMAL...OR BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY...

AS OF MARCH 20...28 DAY AVERAGE STREAMFLOWS AT USGS GAGING STATIONS
ACROSS NORTHERN IDAHO...MOST OF THE CENTRAL IDAHO MOUNTAINS...AND
THE SNAKE RIVER HEADWATERS WERE NORMAL OR ABOVE NORMAL. ELSEWHERE...
FOR THE SOUTHERN THIRD OF IDAHO AND SOUTHEAST OREGON...STREAMFLOWS
RANGED FROM NORMAL TO WELL BELOW NORMAL...WITH A NUMBER OF
STREAMGAGE FLOWS WITHIN THE 10 PERCENTILE CLASS FOR LOW FLOWS.

MAJOR RESERVOIR SYSTEMS ACROSS IDAHO WERE GENERALLY HOLDING NEAR
AVERAGE OR ABOVE AVERAGE STORAGE. A FEW OF THE SMALLER RESERVOIRS IN
SOUTHERN IDAHO WERE ONLY HOLDING ABOUT 60 TO 80 PERCENT OF AVERAGE.
OVERALL RESERVOIR STORAGE IN SOUTHEAST OREGON WAS WELL BELOW
AVERAGE...WITH THE TWO LARGEST RESERVOIRS...OWYHEE AND
WARMSPRINGS...ONLY HOLDING ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF AVERAGE.

MARCH 1 2015 RESERVOIR DATA

                 PERCENT OF CAPACITY     PERCENT OF AVG
IDAHO
AMERICAN FALLS           80                     103
ANDERSON RANCH           66                     119
ARROWROCK                92                     134
BEAR LAKE                44                      96
BLACKFOOT                50                      92
BROWNLEE                109                     137
CASCADE                  75                     113
COEUR D ALENE            60                     109
DEADWOOD                 76                     138
DWORSHAK                 83                     122
HENRYS LAKE              98                     110
ISLAND PARK              86                     111
LAKE LOWELL              55                      93
LITTLE WOOD              57                      98
LUCKY PEAK               81                     197
MACKAY                   72                     108
MAGIC                    32                      84
MANN CREEK               67                     144
MONTPELIER               63                     141
OAKLEY                   26                      79
PALISADES                85                     128
PEND OREILLE             39                      77
PRIEST LAKE              66                     138
RIRIE                    60                     118
SALMON FALLS             15                      60

EASTERN OREGON
OWYHEE                   24                      43
WARM SPRINGS             18                      42
BEULAH                   47                      88
BULLY CREEK              40                      73
UNITY                    80                     139
PHILLIPS                 33                      69
THIEF VALLEY             80                      91

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

UPDATES TO THIS PRODUCT WILL BE MADE ON A MONTHLY BASIS. THE NEXT
ISSUANCE OF THE DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT WILL OCCUR IN LATE
APRIL.

RELATED WEB SITES...

U.S. DROUGHT PORTAL:
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.GOV

NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER:
HTTP://DROUGHT.UNL.EDU

STREAM FLOWS:
AHPS HTTP://WATER.WEATHER.GOV/AHPS
USGS HTTP://WATERWATCH.USGS.GOV

NWS WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS:
HTTP://WWW.NWRFC.NOAA.GOV
HTTP://WWW.CBRFC.NOAA.GOV

NRCS WATER SUPPLY FORECASTS:
HTTP://WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/WSF/WSF.HTML

IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES:
HTTP://WWW.IDWR.IDAHO.GOV

OREGON WATER RESOURCES DEPARTMENT (DROUGHT INFORMATION):
HTTP://WWW.OREGON.GOV/OWRD/PAGES/WR/DROUGHT.ASPX

LONG TERM WEATHER AND CLIMATE OUTLOOKS:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

WESTERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER (CLIMATE ANOMALY MAPS):
HTTP://WWW.WRCC.DRI.EDU/MONITORING-MAPS/

NATIONAL INTERAGENCY COORDINATION CENTER
(FIRE DANGER AND OUTLOOKS):  HTTP://WWW.NIFC.GOV/NICC

RESERVOIR INFORMATION:
NRCS
HTTP://WWW.WCC.NRCS.USDA.GOV/WSF/WSF-RESERVOIR.HTML
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
HTTP://WWW.USBR.GOV/PN/HYDROMET/SELECT.HTML

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE:
DISASTER ASSISTANCE
HTTP://WWW.USDA.GOV/WPS/PORTAL/USDA/USDAHOME

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING NOAA/S
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER...THE
US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTERS...
CLIMATOLOGISTS...AND THE NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER.
INFORMATION FOR THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN GATHERED FROM THE NWS AND
FFA OBSERVATION SITES...STATE AGENCIES...USDA...NRCS...USACE AND
USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS DROUGHT INFORMATION
STATEMENT PLEASE CONTACT...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
3833 SOUTH DEVELOPMENT AVENUE
BOISE ID 83705-5354
PHONE: 208-334-9860
EMAIL: W-BOI.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$


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