Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Midland/Odessa, TX

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AXUS74 KMAF 151736

300 PM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018

...Drought Information Statement for West Texas and Southeast New


The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM), issued in partnership between the
National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NWS on 15 March, showed
severe drought covering most of the Western Low Rolling Plains.  The
West Texas Guadalupe Mountains and Trans Pecos were abnormally dry.
The rest of West Texas was in moderate drought.  In Southeast New
Mexico, severe drought had developed into the northern half of Lea
County.  The rest of Southeast New Mexico was in moderate drought.

Rainfall over the past six months has generally been near- to
below-normal.  However, water shortages remain, and mandatory water
use restrictions remain in place in some locations.

Summary of Impacts...

Fire Danger Impacts.
As of 15 March, burn bans are in effect for all of West Texas except
Andrews, Dawson, Gaines, Loving, Midland, Mitchell, and Reeves

The Texas Forest Service uses the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI)
as a system for relating current and recent weather conditions to
potential or expected fire behavior.  It is a numerical index
calculated daily.  Each number is an estimate of the amount of
precipitation, in hundredths of an inch, needed to bring the soil
back to saturation.  The index ranges from 0 to 800, with 0
representing a saturated soil and 800 a completely dry soil.  As of
15 March, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index showed values ranging from
near 200 over Culberson and Eddy Counties to 700 near Candelaria in
Presidio County.  The 400 to 600 range is typical of late summer and
early fall.  In this range, lower litter and duff layers contribute
to fire intensity and will burn actively.  Note that fire danger can
change quickly from day to day as winds and relative humidity vary.
The Texas Forest Service advises to watch out for key critical
weather thresholds of winds above 15 mph and relative humidity below
25 percent.  When these thresholds are met or exceeded, fire danger
will be elevated.

Agricultural Impacts...

According to the Texas Crop and Weather Report issued 13 March by the
Texas A&M Agriculture Program, in the Far West, temperatures ranged
from highs in the 80s and lows in the high-30s.  Conditions were
windy with no moisture.  Fields and pastures were dry and very
combustible. Moisture was needed.  In the South Plains, subsoil and
topsoil moisture levels were extremely dry with no chance of rain in
the forecast.  Winter wheat, pastures and rangeland needed moisture.
Producers were preparing for spring planting.

Climate Summary...

Since 1 January, the following precipitation amounts were reported:

Midland has received 0.05 inches of precipitation.  Normal is 1.54

Carlsbad has had 0.25 inches of precipitation.  Normal is around 1.13

Marfa has had a trace of precipitation.  Normal is around 1.20

Fort Stockton has had 0.06 inches of precipitation.  Normal is
around 1.48 inches.

Precipitation/temperature outlook...

According to the Climate Prediction Center, or CPC, as of 8 March,
a transition from La Nina to ENSO-neutral is most likely (~55%
chance) during the March-May period, with neutral conditions likely
to continue into the second half of the year.

The CPC outlook for April through June for West Texas and Southeast
New Mexico forecasts below-normal precipitation and above-normal

As a result of the precipitation and temperature outlook above, the
latest U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, issued 15 March by the CPC,
indicates drought conditions are likely to persist or continue

Hydrologic Summary...

Reservoir Conditions as of 15 March:

                  Normal   Pool    24-hr    % Conservation
Reservoir          Pool    Today   Change      Capacity
---------          ----    -----   ------      --------
JB Thomas        2258.00  2239.33  -0.01         45.5
Colorado City    2070.20  2054.41  -0.01         39.1
Champion Creek   2083.00  2064.09   0.00         45.8
Moss Creek       2337.00  2332.79  -0.13         82.0
Brantley         3256.70  3254.50   0.01         93.0
Avalon           3177.40  3176.42   0.02         81.0
Red Bluff        2827.40  2821.47   0.00         73.1

Next Issuance Date...

This statement will be updated as necessary in response to
significant changes in drought conditions.


Related Web Sites...

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:

Our local drought web page:

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

NWS drought page:  http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/drought

Office of the Texas State Climatologist:

NWS AHPS:  http://www.water.weather.gov/ahps

USGS:  https://www2.usgs.gov/water/

USACE:  http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil

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

International Boundary and Water Commission (IB&WC):


The National Centers for Environmental Information, the IB&WC, the
USDS, 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 any questions or comments about this drought information
statement, please contact...

National Weather Service
2500 Challenger Drive
Midland, Texas 79706
Phone: 432-563-5006



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