Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
715 PM CDT Wed May 2 2018

...Extreme to Exceptional drought conditions continue across the
Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles as a result of much below normal
precipitation...

Synopsis...
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) updated and released on
April 26th, has most of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle in
extreme drought (D3), with the exception of the Oklahoma Panhandle
and south central to northeastern Texas Panhandle which are in
exceptional drought (D4). Many areas should see a downgrade from
D4 to D3 in the near future. Just today, 2 May 2018, much of
Beaver County, OK and Ochiltree and Lipscomb counties in TX saw
some thunderstorms that dropped a significant amount of rain. More
rain is still needed, and time will tell if any areas will get
downgraded from D3.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Amarillo covers 23 counties
which includes all of the Oklahoma Panhandle and all of the Texas
Panhandle.

There are 5 levels of intensity with regards to the USDM and those
levels are as follows:

D0 - Abnormally Dry
D1 - Moderate Drought
D2 - Severe Drought
D3 - Extreme Drought
D4 - Exceptional Drought

The USDM releases a weekly product each Thursday morning and is
produced through a partnership between the National Drought
Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA). The USDM is based on measurements of
climatic, hydrologic, and soil conditions as well as reported
impacts and observations.

The local Drought Information Statement is issued by the NWS office
in Amarillo when needed to supplement the national USDM product.
Local statements are generally generated monthly but can be issued
bi-monthly during times when the USDM indicates severe drought
conditions or as local conditions warrant.

Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions:
No known state or local actions are currently in place at this time.

Agricultural Impacts:
Some beneficial rain has fallen in the last week or so. Wide
spread rain of anywhere between 0.25 inches all the way up to 1
inch has fallen. This has been beneficial to the remaining wheat
crops and natural grasses coming out of dormancy, however it may
be short lived especially in the central and western parts. High
temperatures and gusty winds evaporate some of the benefit to top
soil moisture, but the precip has benefited subsoils. The near
freezing overnight temps have limited growth for the northwestern
Panhandles. These recent rain showers have provided some promise
for summer planting to begin soon, but more precip will be needed
to ensure good top soil moisture for seeds to take.

Fire Impacts:
Fire weather is still a concern in the western to central portions
of the combined Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles. Much more rain is
needed to keep the green up on track and we continue to see
patterns of high winds and low relative humidity in these parts.

Burn bans remain in place across the entire Texas and Oklahoma
Panhandles.

Note that the fire danger conditions can change quickly from day to
day as 20 foot winds and minimum afternoon relative humidities vary.
The Texas A&M Forest Service advises to watch out for key weather
thresholds of 20 foot winds above 15 to 25 mph and relative
humidities below 15 to 25 percent. When these thresholds are
exceeded, expect the fire danger conditions to increase to elevated
and critical.

Climate Summary...

Although the Oklahoma and Texas Panhandle saw a very dry winter,
the rains we saw last summer/fall were enough to fill Lake
Meredith. Lake Meredith has only dropped a few inches, not feet
like in the past. This is very promising especially with increase
chances of spring/summer rains. Since Jan 1st, Amarillo is below
normal precipitation by 3.32 inches. Some thunderstorms especially
training storms can drop any where between 2 to 3 inches in just
over an hour. One good event could put us close to normal for the
year if not at normal.

Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

Overall, there is a 50/50 chance for precipitation in the next 7
days across the combined Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles.

Across the NWS Amarillo area, the Climate Prediction Center`s (CPC)
8-14 day outlook, shows a 40% chances for below normal
precipitation. For the 8-14 day temperature outlook, we have 60 to
70 percent chance of being above normal temperatures.

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

Area reservoirs are below conservation levels and stream flows
are near normal with a few rivers and creeks running slightly
below normal in the eastern Panhandles.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

This product will be updated on 31 May 2018, or sooner if
necessary in response to significant changes in conditions.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...
Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:

US Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

US Drought Information System:
http://www.drought.gov

NOAA Drought Page:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Drought

National Weather Service Amarillo:
http://weather.gov/ama

Texas A&M AgriLife:
https://agrilife.org

Oklahoma Agriculture Food and Forestry:
https://www.oda.state.ok.us

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

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

ADDITIONAL RIVER INFORMATION...

National Weather Service:
http://water.weather.gov

US Geological Survey:
http://water.usgs.gov

US Army Corps of Engineers:
http://www.usace.army.mil

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the
National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental
Information, 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,
state cooperative extension services, the USDA, USACE and USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement, please contact:

National Weather Service
1900 English Road
Amarillo, TX 79108
Phone...806-335-1121
sr-ama.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$



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