Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Las Vegas, NV

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3 4
000
AXUS75 KVEF 201902
DGTVEF
AZZ001>003-036-CAZ519>527-NVZ014-022-300700-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
1202 PM PDT THU AUG 20 2015

...MONSOONAL PRECIPITATION EASES THE DROUGHT IN THE COLORADO RIVER
VALLEY HOWEVER EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUE
FURTHER WEST...

SYNOPSIS...THERE WERE SEVERAL LENGTHY PUSHES OF MONSOON MOISTURE
INTO THE MOJAVE DESERT AND SOUTHERN GREAT BASIN DURING JULY AND
EARLY AUGUST WHICH RESULTED IN AN ACTIVE MONTH AND A HALF ACROSS
MUCH OF THE AREA. ALL OFFICIAL WEATHER STATIONS REPORTED AT LEAST A
TRACE OF PRECIPITATION FOR THE MONTH OF JULY.

THE FIRST PUSH OF MONSOON MOISTURE ARRIVED ON JUNE 28TH AND LASTED
UNTIL JULY 11TH. DURING THE EARLY MORNING OF JULY 1ST, A STRONG
OUTFLOW BOUNDARY PUSHED WEST ACROSS WESTERN MOHAVE, SOUTHERN CLARK
AND SOUTHERN NYE COUNTIES. A COLD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE MOVED WEST
FROM THE PACIFIC ACROSS CALIFORNIA ON THE 8TH AND 9TH TRIGGERING
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IN INYO AND ESMERALDA COUNTIES. THIS STORM
WAS COLD ENOUGH TO BRING VERY HIGH ELEVATION SNOW WITH IT. DUE TO
THE LOW FREEZING LEVELS, SEVERAL REPORTS OF HAIL WERE RECEIVED IN
THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA OF CALIFORNIA ON THE 9TH.

THE SECOND PUSH OF MOISTURE ARRIVED ON JULY 17TH IN THE FORM OF A
GULF SURGE. THIS TRIGGERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS STARTING LATER
THAT AFTERNOON. THE REMNANTS OF PACIFIC HURRICANE DOLORES TRIGGERED
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE AREA ON JULY 19TH AND 20TH,
ESPECIALLY IN SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA. DRIER AIR MOVED BACK ON IN ON
THE 20TH AND 21ST. THE FINAL PUSH OF MONSOON MOISTURE ARRIVED ON
JULY 29TH AND LASTED THROUGH AUGUST 1ST. ADDITIONAL MONSOON PUSHES
TOOK PLACE ON AUGUST 6TH AND 7TH AND AUGUST 11TH THROUGH THE 15TH.

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 IS 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 THE AREA DESPITE THE LATEST SEASONAL
FORECAST (SEPTEMBER THROUGH ) ISSUED BY THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER THAT SHOWS THERE IS ABOVE AVERAGE CONFIDENCE IN
ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE AREA. THERE IS ABOVE AVERAGE
CONFIDENCE IN ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA WITH
THE GREATEST CONFIDENCE OVER INYO AND ESMERALDA COUNTIES.

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.

THE INYO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA SUPERVISORS APPROVED A 23 PERCENT
REDUCTION IN IRRIGATION IN THE BISHOP CONE OF THE LOS ANGLES
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. AN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED TO
SUPPLY RANCHES IN THE OWENS VALLEY WITH WATER WITH THE LOS ANGELES
DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER. DAMS HAVE BEEN OR ARE PLANNED FOR
CONSTRUCTION IN ORDER TO STORE WATER FOR RANCHES. RANCHERS WILL GET
ABOUT 3 PERCENT OF THE WATER THAT IS NORMALLY ALLOCATED TO CONTROL
DUST IN THE OWENS DRY LAKE BED. NO WATER IS EXPECTED TO FLOW TO LOS
ANGELES FROM THE OWENS VALLEY IN THE LOS ANGELES AQUEDUCT THIS
SUMMER FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE IT WAS BUILT.

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.

WATER SUPPLY

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 RESTRICTING 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.

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

THE LATEST SIGNIFICANT WILDLAND FIRE POTENTIAL OUTLOOK FOR SEPTEMBER
CALLS FOR CONDITIONS TO RETURN TO NEAR NORMAL ACROSS THE SOUTHERN
SIERRA NEVADA WITH NEAR NORMAL CONDITIONS ELSEWHERE. NEAR NORMAL
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED AREAWIDE FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER.

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 6532 ACRES.

THE WILLOW FIRE DEVELOPED NEAR TOPOCK, ARIZONA ON AUGUST 8TH AND
BURNED 5,976 ACRES INCLUDING 11 STRUCTURES AND 7 TRAILERS.

WILDLIFE

WARMER WINTER MONTHS AND DROUGHT CONDITIONS SEEM TO HAVE CREATED
PRIME CONDITIONS FOR POPULATIONS OF THE BOXELDER BUGS TO EXPLODE IN
INYO COUNTY.

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...

SCATTERED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS THROUGH THE END OF JULY HAVE
PUSHED WATER SEASON TOTALS UP SIGNIFICANTLY ESPECIALLY IN THE
COLORADO RIVER VALLEY AS WELL AS IN THE AREA IN AND AROUND DYER,
NEVADA.

 ARIZONA            PCPN        NORMAL     PER

 BEAVER DAM         4.91          6.17     80%
 PIPE SPRING NM    10.21          8.61    119%
 KINGMAN            7.53          8.09     93%
 WIKIEUP            5.26          7.50     70%

 CALIFORNIA

 BISHOP             2.99          4.86     62%
 DEATH VALLEY NP    1.76          2.02     87%
 BARSTOW-DAGGETT    2.44          3.59     68%
 NEEDLES            3.72          3.71    100%
 JOSHUA TREE        3.73          4.22     88%

 NEVADA

 LAS VEGAS          2.68          3.61     74%
 MT CHARLESTON     12.41         20.97     59%
 PAHRUMP            3.80          4.35     87%
 MESQUITE           4.61          6.94     66%
 CALIENTE           9.97          7.74    129%
 DYER               5.08          4.40    115%

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

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE LATEST SEASONAL FORECAST (SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER) ISSUED BY
THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER THAT SHOWS THERE IS ABOVE AVERAGE
CONFIDENCE IN ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE AREA. THERE IS
ABOVE AVERAGE CONFIDENCE IN ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE
ENTIRE AREA WITH THE GREATEST CONFIDENCE OVER INYO AND ESMERALDA
COUNTIES.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

AS OF AUGUST 20, 2015, LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION WAS 1078.4 FEET OR 38
PERCENT CAPACITY. FOR UPCOMING WATER YEAR 2016 (OCT 15- SEP 16) THE
BUREAU OF RECLAMATION HAS PROJECTED TO RELEASE 9.0 MAF FROM LAKE
POWELL. FOR 2016 WATER YEAR. HOWEVER, DOWNSTREAM REQUIREMENTS FROM
LAKE MEAD ARE ESTIMATED AROUND 9.467 MAF. FOR THE UPCOMING WATER
YEAR LAKE MEAD`S ELEVATION IS FORECAST TO RISE THROUGH THE END OF
FEBRUARY 2016 TO AROUND 1084 FEET, THEN LOWER THROUGH THE SUMMER
MONTHS TO AROUND 1070 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 ELEVATION WAS 3611.3 OR 53
PERCENT CAPACITY.

DATA FOR RESERVOIRS ACROSS THE REGION (AS OF 8/20/2015)

 RESERVOIR                      PERCENT FULL

LAKE MEAD                           38
LAKE MOHAVE                         94
LAKE HAVASU                         92

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, SEPTEMBER 17, 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


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.