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

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Fort Worth TX
330 PM CST Tue Nov 29 2022

...AUTUMN RAINFALL EASES DROUGHT CONDITIONS...

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

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.SYNOPSIS:

.Drought intensity and extent:

Late autumn rainfall eroded drought conditions from North Central
Texas into East Texas. Severe (D2) and Extreme Drought (D3) remain
from the Big Country into Central Texas, but for the first time
since March, the region is free of Exceptional Drought (D4).

.Precipitation:

The fall rainy season had a late start, but multiple rain events
from late October to late November resulted in multi-week tallies
that were above normal values in many areas. Rainfall totals
during the period exceeded 10 inches from Dallas into Northeast
Texas. Waco topped 5 inches in November, the first month to do so
since August 2021.

Despite the recent rainfall, year-to-date tallies are still below
normal across the vast majority of North and Central Texas. For
both Waco and Killeen, 2022 precipitation deficits are near 13
inches.

.Hydrologic conditions:

Recent rainfall has reversed long-term reservoir declines in some
areas, but many lakes from the Big Country to Central Texas
continue to struggle. Evaporation, which can be over 1/2 inch on
a hot summer day, reduces to as little as one tenth of an inch
during the winter. Water usage also declines significantly during
the cold season, but water restrictions remain in place for 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 soared, necessitating herd reductions. Millions
of cattle have been sold off this year, the greatest liquidation
since the drought year of 2011. The late arrival of autumn
rainfall limited forage and shortened the fall hay season, during
which production was well below average. Ranchers have already
begun supplemental feeding and are looking to ryegrass seeding
for winter pasture forage.

Texas normally produces 200,000 Christmas trees per year. East
Texas tree farms suffered losses due to the drought, but many
growers in less forested areas irrigate and had positive yields.
In addition, trees brought in from out of state have helped fill
supply gaps.

.Fire hazards:

The entire region has experienced a killing freeze, and warm
season vegetation is now in dormancy. Despite recent rainfall,
dormant grasses can dry out in a matter of days, quickly becoming
conducive to fire initiation and spread. The days of greatest
concern are those that are sunny and warm with low humidity,
especially if it is also breezy.

Nearly all of the region`s outdoor burn bans have been
discontinued in recent weeks, but a few are still in place. 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:

Where recent rainfall has been the most abundant, many lakes
experienced rises. In particular, the water supply lakes for
Bonham (Lake Bonham), Sulphur Springs (Lake Sulphur Springs), and
Paris (Lake Crook) all rose into their flood pools. Even some
larger reservoirs are back above 90 percent of the conservation
volume, including Pat Mayse, Ray Hubbard, Ray Roberts, Tawakoni,
and Texoma.

However, where drought conditions have been more intense, much of
the runoff from the autumn rainfall was absorbed into the parched
soil. Although the Thanksgiving weekend rainfall helped replenish
soil moisture, refill stock tanks, and recharge aquifers across
Central Texas, it is estimated that only 2 percent of the rainfall
ever made it to Lake Waco, which has only risen about 6 inches
during November. Lake Waco is one of several reservoirs still
under 60 percent full; others include Palo Pinto, Pat Cleburne,
and Proctor, which has fallen below 45 percent of its conservation
volume.

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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 and 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
throughout 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 redevelop/worsen.

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.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

The next Drought Information Statement will be issued during
December.

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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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$$

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