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

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Fort Worth TX
300 PM CDT Thu Sep 29 2022

...DROUGHT CONDITIONS REINTENSIFYING ACROSS THE REGION...

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

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.SYNOPSIS:

.Drought intensity and extent:

August rainfall ended drought conditions in some areas, but after
an extraordinarily dry September, nearly all of North and Central
Texas is now at least Abnormally Dry (D0) once again. Severe (D2)
and Extreme Drought (D3) prevail 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:

Heavy rainfall during late August put a serious dent in the long-
term drought, but the region quickly transitioned back into a dry
pattern during September. For many locations, 12-month
precipitation deficits still exceed 12 inches. For the year-to-
date, Waco is experiencing its driest year since the 1950s
drought. Killeen has tallied less than 10 inches of rain so far
this year, which is nearly 14 inches below normal.

.Hydrologic conditions:

Statewide reservoir storage has diminished by more than a
trillion gallons since September 2021. At its summer flow, it
would take Niagara Falls nearly 3 weeks to cascade that much
water. While our transition from summer to autumn has gradually
reduced both water usage and evaporation, abundant sunshine and
inadequate rainfall has maintained a steady decline in reservoir
levels. As water resources continue to diminish, enhanced water
restrictions are being introduced in some municipalities.

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.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:

.Agricultural impacts:

Warm season crops struggled with negligible rainfall. Central
Texas corn was decimated, with similarly water-intensive sorghum
also suffering. For many crops, the August rainfall arrived too
late to salvage a harvest. The Texas cotton yield is expected to
be only half of normal, resulting in losses of more than 2 billion
dollars.

After months of drought and punishing inflation, hay prices have
soared, necessitating herd reductions. Through the end of August,
2.66 million cattle had been sold this year, the greatest
liquidation since the drought year of 2011.

.Fire hazards:

In what has become one of the worst fire seasons on record, around
8000 separate wildfires have burned 1000 square miles across the
state this year. The largest fire of 2022 remains the Eastland
Complex, which consumed over 54,000 acres between March 17 and
April 8.

As the cold season approaches, windy days with low humidity will
become more common. Although those conditions are the most
conducive to fire initiation and spread, fire starts can occur on
any warm, sunny days, particularly where vegetation is dormant or
otherwise drought-stressed.

Only a handful of outdoor burn bans remain in effect across North
and Central Texas, but 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:

Abundant rainfall during the spring and summer of 2021 helped
fill area lakes. Even after more than a year of insufficient
precipitation, most reservoirs across North and Central Texas
still exceed 70 percent of conservation volume, with many still
over 80 percent. However, a few reservoirs dipped below the 60
percent threshold this summer, including Lake Weatherford, Lake
Pat Cleburne, and Proctor Lake, which is now less than 50 percent
of its conservation volume. With no significant rainfall in the
forecast, Lake Waco will likely fall below 60 percent by the
beginning of 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.)

During July, Lake Waco, the water supply reservoir for the city,
fell below 70 percent of its conservation volume. As a result,
Waco enacted twice-per-week watering limits. Beginning August 15,
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.

On August 2, 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 both Temple and Copperas Cove.

Other municipalities have more severe restrictions. For example,
Groesbeck (Limestone County) has banned the use of hose-end
sprinklers and in-ground irrigation systems. Itasca (Hill County)
may have less than a month of water supply remaining.

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 autumn rainy season, and outlooks through October favor
below normal precipitation. Considering October is the second
wettest month of the year climatologically, drought conditions are
likely to re-emerge and worsen into the cold season.

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.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

The next Drought Information Statement will be issued during
October.

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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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