Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
436 PM CDT Thu Sep 20 2018

TXC017-045-069-075-079-101-107-125-153-169-189-191-219-263-269-
279-303-305-345-369-433-437-445-501-222145-
436 PM CDT Thu Sep 20 2018

..Recent rainfall helpful but drought remains...

Synopsis...

Short term rainfall since early September has amounted to around 2
inches and locally 3 inches or greater mainly across the southern
and western South Plains and parts of the Rolling Plains. For
much of the area this has resulted in filling of ponds and playas
and greening of vegetation. Lesser rainfall has occurred from the
northern South Plains into parts of the extreme southern Texas
Panhandle. All-in-all, rainfall through the last part of the
calendar summer has been around 50 to 80 percent of normal, with a
few pockets wetter and some also drier. This has mirrored the
rainfall since the beginning of drought conditions last October,
resulting in long-term rainfall deficits on the order of 6 to 10
inches especially over the northern South Plains into parts of the
central South Plains.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor indicated lingering Extreme
Drought (D3) in the central and northern South Plains with a
pocket still of Exceptional Drought (D4) from northern Lubbock
County into southern Hale County. For much of the remainder of the
area, including the western South Plains, the Rolling Plains, and
the extreme southern Texas Panhandle conditions have slightly
improved ranging from Abnormally Dry (D0) to Severe Drought (D2).

Climate Summary...

Slight positive temperature anomalies in the tropical eastern
Pacific Ocean were indicating a trend toward EL Nino Conditions
later this fall and winter. An El Nino Watch is in effect. Recent
weather systems drawing subtropical Pacific moisture into the area
in tandem with Gulf of Mexico moisture support this trend. El
Nino typically favors above normal precipitation in this area
during fall and winter months.

Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

A wet period is about to ensue late this week with a high
likelihood of rainfall coverage, and rain totals from one to two
inches favoring the Rolling Plains. Spotty excessive rainfall and
flooding also could occur. Drier conditions are expected to end
the month of September though there may be a few opportunities yet
for lighter rainfall amounts. Outlooks starting in October and
lasting all the way through winter support above normal rainfall
potential. Additional drought reduction is likely.

Agricultural Impacts...

The following is summarized or copied directly from the Texas
Crop and Weather Report September 18, 2018 from Texas A&M
Agrilife:

Over the South Plains, Subsoil and topsoil moisture remained fair
to adequate. Area crops continued to finish out. Producers
continued pest and weed management. Irrigated cotton still looked
good. Beetles damaged some wheat and hay crops. Pastures and
rangelands benefited from recent rainfall and were in fair to good
conditions. Cattle were in good condition.

Over the Rolling Plains, conditions were favorable for producers
during the reporting period. Many areas received beneficial
rainfall from 2 to 3 inches. Rains replenished soil moisture
levels, filled stock tanks, and helped pastures and rangeland
green up and produce forage for cattle. Although pastures were
looking better, producers continued to supplement feed and search
for hay as reserves had dwindled. There were several reports of
armyworms in pastures. With the recent moisture, producers were
busy preparing and sowing wheat fields. Cotton acres were in poor
to good condition. Area producers were hopeful the recent rains
would help set bolls and take them to harvest.

Fire Weather Impacts...

Low fire weather threats are expected in coming weeks as a result
of greening following the recent rainfall. But, isolated fire
problems could result from lightning if an extended dry period
ensues in coming weeks. Fall weather systems with increasing wind
potential are also likely during the month of October. These
systems may further enhance drying and curing of fine fuels,
perhaps leading to some enhanced fire threat. But this may not
occur until middle or late October. In the mean time, the Texas
Forest Service reported County Burn Bans over Childress County in
the Rolling Plains, and still half of the counties on the Caprock.

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

Slow drops continued at area reservoirs in the past 5 weeks. The
following reservoir conditions were reported September 20th:

              Conversation   Pool    5 Week   Percent
               Pool(feet)    Today   Change   Capacity

MACKENZIE LAKE    3100       3022.5   -0.5      15
WHITE RIVER LAKE  2370       2347.6   -0.6      13
LAKE ALAN HENRY   2220       2211.3   -0.6      77
LAKE MEREDITH     2936       2886.0   -0.8      36

This product will be updated again in 5 weeks, or as significant
changes occur.

&&

Related Web Sites:

U.S. Drought Monitor:
http://www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu

NOAA Drought Page:
http://www.drought.noaa.gov

Office of the Texas State Climatologist:
http://www.climatetexas.tamu.edu

NWS Precipitation:
http://www.wather.weather.gov/precip

USGS:
http://www.water.usgs.gov

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

USDA:
http://www.usda.gov/oce/weather

Texas Agrilife Extension Agency Crop and Weather Report:
http://today.agrilife.org

Acknowledgements:
The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the National
Weather Service and National Climatic Data Center, the USDA, State and
Regional Center Climatologists, and the National Drought Mitigation
Center. Information for this statement has been gathered from NWS and
FAA observation sites, the Texas Tech University West Texas Mesonet,
State Cooperative Extension Services, the USDA, USACE, and USGS.

Questions or comments about this product? Please contact:

National Weather Service
2579 S Loop 289 Suite 100
Lubbock TX 79423
Phone: 806-745-4926
E-mail: lub.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$



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