Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tulsa, OK

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service TULSA OK
332 PM CST Thu Feb 15 2018

...Moderate to Severe drought conditions continue across all of
eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas...

Synopsis...

With the exception of far southeast Oklahoma, little to no
rainfall has occurred across eastern Oklahoma and northwest
Arkansas over the last 30 days. Some locations northwest of
Interstate 44 have received no rainfall over the last 30 days.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) valid February 13,
2018, Severe (D2) Drought conditions covered portions of
Osage, Pawnee, Washington, Nowata, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers,
Wagoner, Cherokee, Adair, Sequoyah, Le Flore, Haskell, Latimer,
Pittsburg, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Okfuskee, and Creek Counties
in eastern Oklahoma, and Washington, Madison, Crawford, Franklin,
and Sebastian Counties in northwest Arkansas.

Moderate (D1) Drought conditions were present in portions of
Ottawa, Delaware, Rogers, Wagoner, Tulsa, Osage, Creek, Choctaw,
Pushmataha, and Le Flore Counties in Eastern Oklahoma, and
Benton, Carroll, Washington, and Madison Counties in Northwest
Arkansas.

The USDM is a collaborative effort between several government and
academic partners. It 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.

There are five levels of intensity depicted on the USDM. The USDM
levels are the following: D0 - Abnormally Dry (not in drought but
showing dryness) D1 - Moderate Drought D2 - Severe Drought D3 -
Extreme Drought D4 - Exceptional Drought

The local Drought Information Statement is issued by the NWS
office in Tulsa when needed to supplement the national USDM
product. Local statements may be issued monthly during times when
the USDM indicates severe drought conditions or as local
conditions warrant.


Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions:
The Oklahoma State Climate Office (Oklahoma Climatological
Survey, OCS) hosts recorded briefings focused on the current
conditions, impacts, and outlooks for drought conditions across
the Southern Plains. Updated drought briefings are available at
www.youtube.com/user/SCIPP01

Soil Moisture Impact:
The OCS daily averaged fractional water index for February 14,
2018 shows values of 0.8 to 1.0 (where 1.0 is saturated and 0.0 is
completely dry) at 2, 4. 10 and 24 inches below ground across most
of eastern Oklahoma. Values across portions of Osage, Pawnee,
Tulsa, and Washington Counties ranged from 0.5 to 0.8 at all but
24 inches below ground.

As of February 15, 2018, the Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast
Center (ABRFC) gridded soil moisture indicates that the upper
zone, which responds to short term rainfall, is 30 percent to greater
than 40 percent full across most of eastern Okalhoma and all of
northwest Arkansas. However, along and west of Highway 75, the
soil moisture was only 20 to 40 percent full. This represents
neutral to slightly agriculturally dry conditions west of Highway
75. These values corresponds to 30 to 90 percent of normal across
all of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, with values of 30
to 70 percent primarily west of Highway 75. The lower zone was
primarily 30 to greater than 40 percent full, with scattered areas
of 10 to 30 percent full in northeast and east central Oklahoma.
This represents neutral conditions with scattered areas of slight
to moderate hydrologically dry conditions. These lower zone
anomalies were 30 to 90 percent of normal across eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calculated soil moisture
anomaly analysis as of January 18, 2018 showed soil moisture was
60-120 mm (2.4-4.7 inches) below normal across eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas.

Fire Impacts:
Several burn bans were in effect as of February 15, 2018. The
Oklahoma Governor declared burn ban includes Osage, Pawnee,
Washington, Tulsa, Creek, Okmulgee, and Okfuskee Counties.
Additionally, county declared burn bans were in effect for Mayes,
McIntosh, Pittsburg, Haskell, and Le Flore Counties in Oklahoma.
No burn bans were in effect for Arkansas. Fires in Osage County
burned over 5000 acres with only moderate fire weather conditions.
According to the Oklahoma Forestry Services, fuel load is high now
due to cured dense vegetation from earlier in 2017, plus dried out
winter fuels due to the more recent below normal rainfall. When
weather conditions are conducive for fire, wildfire concerns will
be high due to this primed fuel load. Of particular concern are
the 1,000-hour fuels. They also stated the "number of roadside
ignitions should be noted as that points directly at the state of
fuels receptiveness and availability."

Agriculture:
According to a report submitted to the Drought Impact Reporter on
January 25, 2018, producers in Carroll County have reported
selling or moving cattle due to the prolonged dry spell. Many
ponds have completely dried up or were so low they froze dry
during a recent cold snap. Some producers are having to haul water
for livestock because creeks, ponds, springs, and seeps have
dried up.


Climate Summary...

Over the past 7 days, 0.10 to 0.25 inches of rain fell over
Choctaw, Pushmataha, and far southern Le Flore Counties in
southeast Oklahoma. For the remainder of eastern Oklahoma and
northwest Arkansas, only a few hundredths of an inch of
precipitation fell east of a Jay, OK to McAlester, OK.

In the last 30 days, rainfall totals were generally around 0.50 to
around 3 inches east of a McIntosh County to Ottawa County line,
which corresponds to 10 to 75 percent of the normal rainfall for
this time period. A narrow band of 3 to 5 inches of rain (90 to 150
percent of normal) fell from eastern Choctaw to southern Le Flore
County. Elsewhere across the remainder of eastern Oklahoma, zero
to around 0.10 inches of rain fell, which is zero to 10 percent of
the normal rainfall for this time period.

According to OCS, for the last 30 days ending February 14, 2018,
northeast Oklahoma ranks as the 2nd driest period since records
began in 1921. East central Oklahoma ranks as the 8th driest and
southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 39th driest. Since the beginning
of the Water Year (October 1, 2017), northeast Oklahoma ranks as
the 28th driest, east central Oklahoma ranks as the 14th driest,
and southeast Oklahoma ranks as the 18th driest.


Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

A cold front tonight will bring a return to near to slightly below
normal temperatures to the region tomorrow. This front will also
bring a chance for rain tonight, with the greatest potential
across far northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Temperatures
will then warm through the weekend before another cold front moves
through on Tuesday. Rain will be likely Friday night into
Saturday, especially across southeast Oklahoma into northwest
Arkansas. There will be additional chances for rain from Sunday
afternoon through Tuesday night.

The CPC 8-14 Day Outlook calls for an increased chance for above
normal temperatures and above normal rainfall across eastern
Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.

Beyond this period, the CPC outlook for March 2018 (issued
February 15, 2018) indicates an equal chance for above, near, and
below median precipitation and equal chances for above, near, and
below normal temperatures across all of eastern Oklahoma and
northwest Arkansas.


Hydrologic Summary And Outlook...

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), several reservoirs
were operating at more than 5 percent below the conservation pool
level as of February 15, 2018:
Ft. Gibson Lake 64 percent, Eufaula Lake 73 percent, Tenkiller
Lake 78 percent, Beaver Lake 78 percent, Keystone Lake 80 percent,
Copan Lake 86 percent, Birch Lake 94 percent, and Hulah Lake 94
percent.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 7-day average
streamflow as of February 14, 2018 was below (10th-24th
percentile) to much below (less than 10th percentile) normal
across all of the river basins in eastern Oklahoma and northwest
Arkansas.


Next Issuance Date...

This product will be updated on March 16, 2018 or sooner if
significant changes in drought conditions occur.


Related Websites...

U.S. Drought Portal
http://www.drought.gov

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

National Weather Service Tulsa
http://weather.gov/tulsa/drought_info
http://weather.gov/tulsa

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

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

Arkansas Forestry Commission
http://www.forestry.state.ar.us

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

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

U.S. Geological Survey Realtime Data
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt

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


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.


Questions or Comments...

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

National Weather Service Tulsa
10159 E. 11th St. Suite 300
Tulsa Oklahoma 74128
Phone:   918-838-7838
Email:   sr-tsa.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$



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