Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Dallas/Fort Worth, TX

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Fort Worth TX
620 PM CDT Sun Oct 30 2022

...DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST THROUGH THE AUTUMN RAINY SEASON...

For additional content, visit weather.gov/fortworth/drought

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.SYNOPSIS:

.Drought intensity and extent:

During what is climatologically one of the wettest months of the
year, inadequate October rainfall worsened drought conditions.
Most of the region is at least in Severe Drought (D2), with
Extreme Drought (D3) in place from the Big Country into Central
Texas. An enclave of Exceptional Drought (D4), which is reserved
for twice- a-century events, persists in the Fort Hood area.

.Precipitation:

Two rain events during late October allowed portions of North
Central and Northeast Texas to exceed normal precipitation values
for the month. But for much of Central Texas, October was yet
another month with insufficient rainfall. Killeen has seen less
than half of its normal precipitation for the year to date. Waco`s
12-month deficit exceeds 20 inches.

.Hydrologic conditions:

Recent rainfall has reversed long-term reservoir declines in some
areas, but Central Texas lakes continue to fall. While our
transition to the cold season has reduced both water usage and
evaporation, inadequate rainfall will continue to take its toll on
the region`s water resources. As a result, enhanced water
restrictions are being introduced in some municipalities.

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.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:

.Agricultural impacts:

After more than a year of drought and punishing inflation, hay
and feed prices have soared, necessitating herd reductions.
Millions of cattle have been sold off this year, the greatest
liquidation since the drought year of 2011. Inadequate rainfall
during the fall rainy season has resulted in half the normal hay
production, and ranchers are looking to ryegrass seeding for
winter pasture forage.

The drought has also dramatically increased the incidence of
clostridium infections in livestock. The potentially fatal
bacteria have impacted cattle, sheep, and goats.

After excessive rain limited pumpkin production in 2021, drought
has reduced Texas pumpkin yields again this year. The Christmas
tree industry has also been hit hard, with East Texas tree farms
reporting widespread losses.

.Fire hazards:

The first killing freeze typically arrives during November,
sending warm season vegetation into dormancy. These dry grasses
will remain conducive to fire initiation and spread throughout
the cold season. The days of greatest concern are those that are
sunny and warm with low humidity, especially if it is also breezy.
As winter approaches, windy days with low humidity become more
common.

Many outdoor burn bans have been discontinued in recent weeks, but
many are still in place, particularly across Central Texas. Even
if a formal ban is not in effect for your area, it is still
important to be vigilant about fire usage. Many outdoor activities
(such as grilling) involve a risk of starting wildfires. The
National Fire Protection Association estimates over 10,000 home
grill fires occur each year, resulting in 135 million dollars in
property damage annually. Avoid open flames near dry vegetation
and assure all coals and embers are extinguished.

.Lake levels:

Much of the runoff from the October rainfall was absorbed into the
parched soil, but where the precipitation was the most abundant,
some lakes experienced rises. In particular, the water supply
lakes for Bonham (Lake Bonham) and Paris (Lake Crook) saw marked
improvement, Lake Bonham soaring from 75 percent to nearly 90
percent of its conservation volume in less than a week. Even some
larger reservoirs had slight gains, including Texoma, Pat Mayse,
Ray Roberts, Lewisville, and Tawakoni.

A few reservoirs have dipped below the 60 percent threshold,
including Pat Cleburne, Palo Pinto, and Proctor, which is now
less than 50 percent of its conservation volume. Lake Waco, which
fell below 60 percent in late September, has fallen nearly a foot
during October.

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.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS:

.Water restrictions:

For many jurisdictions, voluntary water conservation measures are
in effect. However, in some municipalities, the water restrictions
enacted during the multi-year drought a decade ago remain in
place.

In both Dallas and Fort Worth, landscape watering is limited to
twice per week. Only hand watering is permitted between 10 am and
6 pm. (For Dallas, the 10 am to 6 pm restriction is only in effect
from April to October.)

In July, Waco enacted twice-per-week watering limits. In August,
the daytime limit on hand watering was eased from 13 to 11 hours
and is now only restricted during the window of 8 am to 7 pm.

In August, Killeen enacted Stage 1 of its water conservation plan,
which requests residents limit landscape watering to only two days
a week. In addition, irrigation should not be done between 10 am
at 8 pm. Similar voluntary conservation measures are ongoing for
Temple, Belton, and Copperas Cove.

Since water restrictions vary, residents should keep informed with
the current guidelines from their municipality or water utility
provider.

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.LOCAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK:

La Nina conditions prevail and are anticipated to remain in place
into the upcoming winter. La Nina tends to reduce precipitation
during the cold season, and outlooks for the next several months
favor below normal precipitation. As a result, drought conditions
are expected to persist or worsen.

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.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

The next Drought Information Statement will be issued during
November.

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.RELATED WEB SITES:

NWS Fort Worth Drought Page - weather.gov/fortworth/drought

National Integrated Drought Information System - drought.gov
Climate Prediction Center - cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
Precipitation Estimates - water.weather.gov/precip

National Drought Mitigation Center - drought.unl.edu
U.S. Drought Monitor - droughtmonitor.unl.edu
Drought Impact Reporter - droughtreporter.unl.edu

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.ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

The U.S. Drought Monitor facilitates continuous discussion among
numerous agencies, academia, and other local interests. The
expertise of its members has been invaluable in developing
drought products and services for our customers and partners.

The Drought Impact Reporter (maintained by the National Drought
Mitigation Center) has allowed various impacts to be compiled
within one clearinghouse. These impacts include agricultural
issues, hydrologic deficits, fire danger, and other social and
economic consequences.

The Texas A&M Forest Service continually monitors vegetation
conditions and wildfire potential. The state agency also
maintains a current list of countywide burn bans.

Outlooks of temperature and precipitation are summarized from a
variety of products created by the Climate Prediction Center
(CPC). CPC is a National Weather Service (NWS) entity within the
National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

Hydrologic information is compiled from numerous sources,
including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Texas
Water Development Board (TWDB), and local water districts.

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.CONTACT INFORMATION:

For additional information or to provide feedback on our drought
products and services, please contact:

National Weather Service
Weather Forecast Office
3401 Northern Cross Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76137

phone: (817) 429-2631
e-mail: sr-fwd.webmaster@noaa.gov

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