Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Little Rock, AR

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AXUS74 KLZK 151757
DGTLZK
ARC001-005-009-011-013-019-023-025-029-039-041-043-045-049-051-053-
059-063-065-067-069-071-079-083-085-089-095-097-101-103-105-109-113-
115-117-119-125-127-129-135-137-141-145-147-149-161200-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
1145 AM CST THU FEB 15 2018

...MODERATE TO EXTREME DROUGHT IN PARTS OF ARKANSAS...

SYNOPSIS...

IN ARKANSAS...THE FALL OF 2017 WAS THE DRIEST ON RECORD SINCE
RECORDS WERE KEPT IN 1895. THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION
WAS ONLY 4.17 INCHES...WHICH WAS 7.17 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. GIVEN
SUCH DRY CONDITIONS...A DROUGHT DEVELOPED AND WORSENED QUICKLY.
THERE HAS BEEN SOME RELIEF THIS WINTER...BUT THE DROUGHT
CONTINUES.

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT
HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU. IT IS A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT BETWEEN
SEVERAL GOVERNMENT AND ACADEMIC PARTNERS. THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR
IS ISSUED EACH THURSDAY MORNING AND TAKES INTO ACCOUNT HYDRO-
METEOROLOGICAL DATA THROUGH 7 AM TUESDAY. THERE ARE FOUR LEVELS OF
DROUGHT: D1 /MODERATE/...D2 /SEVERE/...D3 /EXTREME/...AND D4
/EXCEPTIONAL/.

THE LATEST U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...VALID FEBRUARY 13TH 2018...
INDICATED WIDESPREAD D1 /49 PERCENT COVERAGE/ AND D2 /29 PERCENT
COVERAGE/ CONDITIONS...WITH D3 /2 PERCENT COVERAGE/ CONDITIONS IN
A FEW COUNTIES IN NORTH CENTRAL ARKANSAS TOWARD THE MISSOURI BORDER.

CLIMATE DATA AND ANALYSIS...

A WEAK LA NINA /COOLER THAN NORMAL WATER ALONG THE EQUATOR IN
THE PACIFIC OCEAN/ BEGAN DEVELOPING LATE IN 2017. THIS OFTEN RESULTS
IN DRIER THAN USUAL CONDITIONS ACROSS THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES...
AND THAT IS WHAT TOOK PLACE LOCALLY.

A DROUGHT CAME TO LIFE DURING A VERY DRY FALL. FROM SEPTEMBER 1ST
THROUGH NOVEMBER 30TH /91 DAYS/...SIX TO TWELVE INCH RAINFALL
DEFICITS WERE COMMON. PRECIPITATION WAS LESS THAN 25 PERCENT OF
AVERAGE AT JONESBORO /CRAIGHEAD COUNTY/...LITTLE ROCK /PULASKI
COUNTY/...AND PINE BLUFF /JEFFERSON COUNTY/. AT THESE SITES...UNDER
THREE INCHES OF LIQUID FELL.

PRECIPITATION FROM SEPTEMBER 1 - NOVEMBER 30 2017...

SITE                     AMOUNT    NORMAL   DEPARTURE  PCT OF NORMAL

FAYETTEVILLE /NW AR/      6.47     13.38      -6.91         48
HARRISON /NC AR/          3.83     11.98      -8.15         32
JONESBORO /NE AR/         2.43     12.22      -9.79         20
FORT SMITH /WC AR/        3.57     12.81      -9.24         28
LITTLE ROCK /C AR/        2.24     13.37     -11.13         17
WEST MEMPHIS /EC AR/      5.17     12.00      -6.83         43
TEXARKANA /SW AR/         4.29     13.18      -8.89         33
EL DORADO /SC AR/         3.73     13.19      -9.46         28
PINE BLUFF /SE AR/        2.01     12.52     -10.51         16

IT WAS THE DRIEST FALL ON RECORD IN ARKANSAS...AND AT SITES SUCH AS
AT MONTICELLO /DREW COUNTY/...MOUNT IDA /MONTGOMERY COUNTY/...PINE
BLUFF /JEFFERSON COUNTY/...AND RUSSELLVILLE /POPE COUNTY/. RECORDS
AT THESE SITES GO BACK TO THE 1870S AND 1880S!

IT REMAINED DRIER THAN AVERAGE NORTH AND WEST OF LITTLE ROCK /PULASKI
COUNTY/ FROM DECEMBER 17TH 2017 THROUGH FEBRUARY 14TH 2018 /60 DAYS/.
ONLY THREE TO FIVE INCHES OF RAIN WAS MEASURED AT FAYETTEVILLE
/WASHINGTON COUNTY/...FORT SMITH /SEBASTIAN COUNTY/...AND HARRISON
/BOONE COUNTY/. THIS WAS THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH TO MORE THAN TWO
INCHES SUBPAR. FARTHER SOUTHEAST...TEN TO FIFTEEN INCH AMOUNTS WERE
COMMON...WHICH WAS TWO TO MORE THAN SIX INCHES ABOVE NORMAL.

PRECIPITATION FROM DECEMBER 17 2017 - FEBRUARY 14 2018...

SITE                     AMOUNT    NORMAL   DEPARTURE  PCT OF NORMAL

FAYETTEVILLE /NW AR/      3.55      5.61      -2.06         63
HARRISON /NC AR/          4.49      5.24      -0.75         86
JONESBORO /NE AR/         8.05      7.36      +0.69        109
FORT SMITH /WC AR/        4.04      5.58      -1.54         72
LITTLE ROCK /C AR/       10.73      7.51      +3.22        143
WEST MEMPHIS /EC AR/     12.90      8.70      +4.20        148
TEXARKANA /SW AR/        10.23      7.50      +2.73        136
EL DORADO /SC AR/        13.17      8.92      +4.25        148
PINE BLUFF /SE AR/       15.81      8.07      +7.74        196

BEFORE THE RAIN HIT...THERE WAS A HIGH WILDFIRE DANGER AND BURN
BANS WERE POSTED IN 70 /OF 75/ COUNTIES ON DECEMBER 14TH. THE
WILDFIRE CONCERN HAS SINCE DECLINED A LOT. THE DROUGHT STATUS
FOLLOWED SUIT...WITH PERCENT COVERAGE OF SEVERE DROUGHT /D2/
DROPPING FROM 87 PERCENT TO 29 PERCENT...AND EXTREME DROUGHT /D3/
GOING FROM 25 PERCENT TO 2 PERCENT /AS OF FEBRUARY 13TH/.

SOIL MOISTURE/HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY/FIRE DANGER...

AS OF FEBRUARY 15TH...THERE WAS A LOW WILDFIRE DANGER IN
ARKANSAS. NO BURN BANS WERE POSTED.

SOIL MOISTURE WAS BELOW AVERAGE IN THE OZARK AND OUACHITA
MOUNTAINS OF THE NORTH AND WEST. VALUES IN THESE AREAS WERE IN
THE 10TH TO 20TH PERCENTILE /30TH TO 70TH PERCENTILE IS NORMAL/.
VALUES WERE BELOW THE 10TH PERCENTILE TOWARD THE MISSOURI BORDER.

STREAMFLOW ALONG AREA TRIBUTARIES WAS VERY LOW IN THE NORTH
AND WEST. VALUES WERE IN THE 10TH TO 24TH PERCENTILE...AND LESS
THAN THE 10TH PERCENTILE AT MULTIPLE SITES /25TH TO 75TH
PERCENTILE IS NORMAL/.

FORECAST...

IN THE SHORT TERM...THE REMAINDER OF FEBRUARY APPEARS UNSETTLED.
A NORTHWEST FLOW WILL CONTINUE TO BRING COLD AIR FROM CANADA
AT TIMES...AND THIS WILL INTERACT WITH AN INCREASINGLY MORE ACTIVE
SOUTHERN STREAM THAT WILL PERIODICALLY PROVIDE MILD AIR AND
MOISTURE. AS THESE AIR MASSES COLLIDE...THERE WILL BE SEVERAL
ROUNDS OF PRECIPITATION...AND THE POTENTIAL FOR ABOVE NORMAL
MONTHLY AMOUNTS IN PLACES.

MOVING FORWARD...A WEAK LA NINA /COOLER THAN NORMAL WATER ALONG
THE EQUATOR IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN/ WILL CONTINUE INTO THE SPRING.
GIVEN THIS PATTERN...LESS THAN USUAL PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED
IN FLORIDA...AND ALSO ACROSS FROM THE SOUTHWEST U.S. TO THE
SOUTHERN ROCKIES AND SOUTHERN PLAINS. WET WEATHER IS MOST LIKELY
OVER THE UPPER MIDWEST...GREAT LAKES...AND OHIO AND TENNESSEE
VALLEYS. SOME OF THIS MAY SPILL INTO PARTS OF ARKANSAS...WHICH
WOULD RESULT IN DROUGHT RELIEF.

DROUGHT IS MOST LIKELY TO PERSIST OR EXPAND AND WORSEN IN PARTS OF
THE SOUTHEAST...AND FROM CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA EASTWARD TO KANSAS...
OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS. IF DROUGHT CONTINUES IN ARKANSAS...THE
WESTERN COUNTIES WOULD BE THE MOST VULNERABLE.

IF DROUGHT CONDITIONS STICK AROUND...ANY WORSENING WILL BE SLOW
AT FIRST. VEGETATION IS GENERALLY DORMANT AND CONSUMING LITTLE
GROUND WATER. DROUGHT WILL DECLINE MORE QUICKLY IN THE SPRING IF
SUBSTANTIAL PRECIPITATION FAILS TO MATERIALIZE...AND VEGETATION
COMES BACK.

&&

RELATED WEBSITES...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK HOMEPAGE:
HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/LZK

DROUGHT INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO WFO LITTLE ROCK CWA
HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/LZK/DROUGHT.HTM

NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM:
HTTPS://WWW.DROUGHT.GOV/DROUGHT/

U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR:
HTTP://DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU

DROUGHT IMPACT REPORTER:
HTTP://DROUGHTREPORTER.UNL.EDU/MAP/

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

SOUTHERN REGION CLIMATE CENTER:
HTTPS://WWW.SRCC.LSU.EDU/

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY:
HTTPS://WWW.USGS.GOV/

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

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

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE
8400 REMOUNT ROAD
NORTH LITTLE ROCK AR 72118

PHONE: 501-834-0308
EMAIL: SR-LZK.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

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