Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Corpus Christi, TX

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AXUS74 KCRP 060248
DGTCRP
TXZ229>234-239>247-080300-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Corpus Christi TX
948 PM CDT Thu Apr 5 2018


...MODERATE DROUGHT AND ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS CONTINUE OVER
NEARLY ALL OF SOUTH TEXAS...

...SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK CALLS FOR DROUGHT CONDITIONS TO
PERSIST OR DEVELOP OVER ALL OF SOUTH TEXAS BY THE END OF JUNE...


.SYNOPSIS...
Rainfall amounts varied significantly over South Texas during
March. While some locations saw above normal rainfall for the
month, others areas saw no more than 50 percent of their normal
rainfall for March. Areas experiencing drought conditions at the
beginning of March saw improvement in their drought status due to
near to above normal rainfall. On the other hand, other areas (some
not even abnormally dry) which lacked sufficient rainfall either
became abnormally dry or fell into moderate drought status.

According to the Drought Monitor Product, valid on April 3, 2018,
drought conditions exist over the Corpus Christi Hydrologic
Service Area (HSA):

Moderate Drought (D1):
- all of Live Oak, Bee, and Goliad Counties,
- essentially all of Calhoun Country (a sliver of Northwest Calhoun
  County is abnormally dry),
- the outer portions of Victoria County which border surrounding
  counties (the central portions are abnormally dry),
- all but a southeast portion of Refugio County,
- a small portion of Northern Aransas County,
- northern portions of San Patricio County,
- northern and southern portions of Jim Wells County,
- extreme Southwestern Kleberg County,
- most of Duval County (except northwest and eastern-most portions
  which are abnormally dry),
- eastern portions of McMullen County,
- southwestern portions of La Salle County, and
- portions of Southeastern and Northwestern Webb County.

Abnormally Dry (D0): (outside D1 areas)
- the remainder of Victoria, Refugio and San Patricio,
  Jim Wells, Duval, McMullen, La Salle, and Webb Counties,
- essentially all of Aransas County,
- the western two-thirds of Nueces County, and
- the western two-thirds of Kleberg County,

For the current drought monitor product showing drought conditions
over the remainder of Texas, go to the Corpus Christi Drought Page
on the web:

https://www.weather.gov/crp/drought


SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

STATE AND LOCAL ACTIONS.
According to the Texas Forest Service Burn Ban Map of April 5,
2018, Refugio County has a burn ban. Thus, Duval County has
removed their burn ban. No other burn bans are in effect, but
more could be coming if dry conditions continue.

Residents planning on burning should still contact county
officials to ensure that burning is allowed, and also to see if
any restrictions on how and when to burn are in effect. If burning
is allowed, be sure it is not done during windy days with low
humidity, as this could result in a fire which could easily get
out of control.

No water restrictions are in effect in the city of Victoria at this
time. Water saving tips for individual users can be found at:
http://www.victoriatx.org/home/showdocument?id=1294 .

Corpus Christi and Laredo are not in drought status. There are no
water restrictions in Laredo due to adequate water levels
in Lake Amistad.

The city of Corpus Christi continues with city-wide voluntary water
conservation efforts, with the combined capacity of Choke Canyon
Dam and Lake Corpus Christi below 50 percent but above 40
percent (45.5 percent on April 5). During voluntary conservation,
residents are asked to water only once a week on any day they
prefer, as long as it is between the hours of 6 PM and 10 AM. Go
to http://www.cctexas.com/government/water for more information.

For residents in Portland and Ingleside, visit:
http://portlandtx.com
http://inglesidetx.gov

Only water your landscapes to maintain adequate soil moisture.
Also, only water if rainfall has not been received for a week or
two. Use a sprinkler which makes larger water droplets, and
avoid watering on windy days. Finally, turn soaker hoses so that
the holes are on the bottom, facing the grass.

For residents with sprinklers, turn off your sprinkler system when
rainfall has been sufficient to avoid watering when it is not
needed. Residents with sprinkler systems should also monitor their
watering to ensure their system is watering the lawn and not the
sidewalk or street. Useful water conservation tips can be found at:
http://www.victoriatx.org/home/showdocument?id=1294


AGRICULTURAL AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS...
The soil moisture anomaly map for early April shows slightly dry
conditions (-20mm to -40mm) over the northern portions of South
Texas, with moderately dry conditions (-40mm to -60mm) over the
remainder of the HSA. Soil moisture percentiles are in the 30 to
70 percent range over most areas, with extreme southeast portions
of the HSA experiencing percentiles in the 20 to 30 percent range.


Due to recent rainfall near the end of March, crop moisture indices
(valid for the period ending March 31 2018) were abnormally moist
(+1.0 to +1.9) over the Coastal Bend and Victoria areas. Farther
west, near normal (slightly dry/favorably moist) conditions existed.

According to an article in the Bryan-College Station Eagle on
March 27, some farmers in the Coastal Bend were waiting on rain
before continuing planting cotton, as dry, windy conditions
reduced the soil moisture in many areas. More on this story can
be found at (combine the links to get to the page):
http://www.theeagle.com/landandlivestockpost/
agrilifetoday/texas-crop-and-weather-report-march/
article_5adbf1c2-4893-57f1-85a0-73030dc826a2.html

In another article in the Bryan-College Station Eagle March
27, Crops in South Texas struggled to survive all season,
due to the lack of rain. Subsoil moisture was decreasing.
Pasture and rangeland conditions ranged from fair to good, but
were stressed and needed rain. More information can be found at
(combine the links to get to the page):
http://www.theeagle.com/
landandlivestockpost/agrilifetoday/texas-crop-and-weather-report-march/
article_5adbf1c2-4893-57f1-85a0-73030dc826a2.html

In another article in the Bryan-College Station Eagle March
13, parts of South Texas saw declines in pasture and rangeland
conditions, due to the lack of rain. Forage quantity was
decreasing and remained low in some areas. More can be
found at (combine the links to get to the page):
http://www.theeagle.com/landandlivestockpost/agrilifetoday/
texas-crop-and-weather-report-march/
article_28333f15-e0c1-5832-a0ff-b4c81aea74a7.html

In an article in the North Texas e-News on March 20, livestock
producers in South Texas reported that stock tanks were starting
to run short with the lack of rain. Cattle numbers at auction
were increasing. More information can be found at:
http://www.ntxe-news.com/artman/publish/article_110377.shtml

The Texas Crop and Weather Report from AgriLife TODAY on April 3
reported the following conditions:

Coastal Bend Region:
- Most cotton planting began, although some planting was
  delayed due to limited moisture.

- Corn and grain sorghum planting was close to completion,
  and rice planting was underway.

- Fertilizer and herbicide applications continued in hay
  fields and pastures.

- Cattle were looking better, and calves were doing great.

South Region:
- Soil moisture levels improved in areas that received rain.

- Rust presence increased on wheat and oat fields.

- Pasture and rangeland conditions continued to improve,
  but were poor in some areas. There were weed problems
  in pastures in some areas.

- Supplemental feeding declined some, and body condition scores
  on cattle remained fair.

- Watermelons, cantaloupes and onions were planted.

- Carrots and onions were doing well.

- Coastal Bermudagrass fields were almost ready for the first
  hay cutting.

- Corn, sorghum and cotton were doing well.

- Wheat and oats were maturing nicely.

- Pecan trees were starting to bud and develop foliage.

- Some producers began to move cattle to other pastures as stock
  tanks began to dry up.

- Supplemental feeding of range cubes and hay continued. The live
  cattle price market continued to fall.


FIRE DANGER HAZARDS...
According to the Fire Danger Map from the Texas Inter-Agency
Coordination Center (TICC) on April 5, there was a low to
moderate fire danger over the HSA. Some beneficial rainfall,
along with cooler temperatures, has helped to lower the fire
danger. Also, lower winds and higher humidity have helped to keep
the observed fire danger down.

County-averaged Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) were in
the moderate category over the HSA, ranging from 300 to 500.
Overall, these indices were not that different from a month
ago. However, as warmer and drier weather continues to
be forecast, KBDI values will likely increase over the
next few weeks if more substantial rainfall is not received.


CLIMATE SUMMARY...
Above normal temperatures were observed over South Texas in
March. While a few cold fronts moved through the area during
the month, overall warm and humid conditions dominated the
weather in March. Average temperatures for the month were
4.4 degrees above normal at Corpus Christi, 4.4 degrees above
normal at Victoria, and 5.1 degrees above normal at Laredo.

As stated earlier, rainfall for March varied significantly from
location to location. While some locations saw above normal
rainfall for March (a few more than 150 percent of normal),
others areas saw no more than 50 percent of their normal
rainfall for the month.

Over the HSA, 90-day rainfall departures from normal as of
April 5 showed nearly all of South Texas with rainfall
deficits between 1 and 4 inches, with areas near
Matagorda Bay in excess of 4 inches. More than 1/2 of the
HSA has seen no more than 75 percent of normal rainfall in the
last 90 days, with many portions of the western HSA seeing less
than 50 percent of their normal rainfall. Except for a few
isolated areas of the HSA where slightly above normal rainfall has
occurred, rainfall percent of normal since October 1 2017 (the
start of the 2018 Water Year) have been below normal, with most of
the northern portions of South Texas observing between 25 to 75
percent of their normal rainfall since the beginning of the 2018
water year.

The following table shows the monthly rainfall totals for March,
rainfall for 2018, and precipitation so for this water year
(starting October 1 2017). All values are in inches. Rainfall
departures from normal are shown in parenthesis.

                                                  2018 WATER YEAR
                      MARCH            2018         10/01/2017 -
                                                    03/31/2018

CORPUS CHRISTI     2.01 (+0.12)     3.74  (-1.62)  10.82  (-1.98)

VICTORIA           1.95 (-0.82)     4.13  (-3.24)   7.23 (-10.33)

LAREDO AIRPORT     1.65 (+1.12)     1.94  (-1.02)   5.54 (-1.11)

For the three climate stations, the 2018 percentage of normal
rainfall were: 69.8 percent at Corpus Christi, 56.0 percent at
Victoria, and 65.5 percent at Laredo.

The 2018 water year percentages so far are: 84.5 percent at
Corpus Christi, 41.2 percent at Victoria, and 83.3 percent at
Laredo.

La Nina conditions are slowly coming to an end over the
equatorial Pacific. After peaking several weeks ago, La Nina
conditions weakened in February, and will continue to weaken
during the spring. The latest weekly SST (sea surface temperature)
departure on April 2 in the Nino 3.4 region was -0.7 degrees
Celsius.

Nearly all models in the IRI/CPC plume predict that La Nina
will decay and that ENSO-Neutral (El-Nino/Southern Oscillation
neutral) conditions will return during the Northern Hemisphere
spring (March through May time frame), with a 55% chance of
this occurring.

Long-range climate outlooks for the remainder of the
spring and into the first half of summer continue to indicate
a greater likelihood for above normal temperatures and below
normal rainfall over South Texas. Thus, if these outlooks come
to pass, then drought conditions will expand and worsen over
the HSA.


PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS...

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) forecasts the following longer
range conditions for South Texas:

The 8 to 14 day precipitation and temperature outlooks for the
period April 13 through April 19 call for above normal
temperatures over the entire HSA, with near normal or slightly
above normal rainfall for the eastern portions of the HSA,
but near to below normal rainfall farther west.

The monthly rainfall outlook for April calls for a greater
likelihood for below normal rainfall. The April temperature
outlook calls for a greater likelihood for above normal
temperatures. This is typical for La Nina conditions.

The CPC 3 month temperature and rainfall outlook for April
through June forecast a greater likelihood for above normal
temperatures and below normal precipitation over the entire HSA.

The Seasonal Drought Outlook for the next three months indicates
no change. The latest outlook, valid through the end of June,
still calls for the drought to persist over the current areas,
then develop over the remainder of South Texas.

The lagged soil moisture outlook valid through the end of June 2018
calls for near to slightly below normal soil conditions over the
HSA, with the greatest deficits over the northern Coastal Bend and
the Victoria Crossroads areas.


HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
According to the USGS streamflow map on April 5, the Guadalupe
and San Antonio Rivers have above normal flows, with below normal
flows at Coleto Creek and Garcitas Creek. Farther south and west,
while San Miguel Creek, San Fernando Creek, and the Nueces River
below Lake Corpus Christi have below normal flows, the remainder
of the HSA has near normal stages. Flows on the Rio Grande are
about average for this time of year.

Overall, reservoir levels have fallen over the last month or so,
as lack of widespread rainfall, increased water usage, and warmer
than normal temperatures (increased evaporation) have taken their
toll on reservoir levels. Unless more widespread rainfall is
observed over the next several weeks, reservoir levels will continue
to decrease as water usage and evaporation increase with the upcoming
warmer weather.

The following table shows the current reservoir levels as of
April 5, 2018, and previous levels as of March 2, 2018.

Reservoir      Normal  Current  Percent  Previous Change
                Pool     Pool  Capacity    Pool    (ft)
Choke Canyon   220.5    195.1    28.8     195.5    -0.4
Lake C. C.      94.0     92.5    88.7      93.0    -0.5
Lake Texana     44.0     41.3    82.9      41.1    +0.2
Coleto Creek    98.0     96.4    90.5      96.8    -0.4
Canyon Dam     909.0    905.6    92.1     905.3    +0.3
Lake Amistad  1117.0   1093.9    75.5    1094.1    -0.2

The combined system capacity for the Corpus Christi Reservoir
System as of April 5 was at 45.5 percent, which is 1.6
percentage points lower than on March 2.


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued sometime
in May, unless conditions warrant an earlier update.


RELATED WEB SITES...

NWS CORPUS CHRISTI DROUGHT PAGE:
https://www.weather.gov/crp/drought

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS):
https://water.weather.gov/precip

U.S. Drought Monitor (includes drought and soil moisture
outlooks, drought archives and temperature/rainfall outlooks):
http://drought.unl.edu/monitor.html

U.S. Drought Monitor (includes only Texas):
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/data/png/current/current_tx_trd.png

U.S. Drought Portal:
https://www.drought.gov

Texas Drought Monitoring Site:
http://www.txwin.net/monitoring/meteorological/drought/indices.htm

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

Drought Impact Reporter:
http://droughtreporter.unl.edu/

National Drought Mitigation Center:
http://drought.unl.edu

Texas Water Development Board Drought Website:
http://www.waterdatafortexas.org/drought/

Vegetation Drought Response Index:
http://drought.unl.edu.vegdri/vegdri_main.htm?ev

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

Weather Prediction Center (WPC):
http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI):
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/spi/spi.html

Agnews: Texas A & M Agricultural Program
(Crop and Weather Report): http://today.agrilife.org

Texas Interagency Coordination Center (TICC):
http://www.tamu.edu/ticc/

Texas Burn Bans:
http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/decban.png

Texas KBDI:
http://webgis.tamu.edu/tfs/kbdi_daily/kbdicounty.png

Texas Observed Fire Danger:
http://twc.tamu.edu/tfs/raws/rawsd.png

Texas Forecast Fire Danger:
http://twc.tamu.edu/tfs/raws/rawsfcst.png

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (water restrictions):
http://www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkinater/trot/location.html

Corpus Christi Water Department:
http://www.cctexas.com/government/water

Corpus Christi Water Conservation:
http://www.cctexas.com/assets/departments/water/files/waterconservationplan.pdf

Victoria Water Conservation:
http://www.victoriatx.org/pio/pdfs/watersavingmethods.pdf

Laredo Water Restrictions and Conservation:
http://www.ci.laredo.tx.us/utilities05/ordinance/2009_ordinance.pdf

City of victoria Web Site:
http://www.victoriatx.org

City of Laredo Web Site:
http://www.ci.laredo.tx.us

City of Portland Web Site:
http://www.portlandtx.com

Texas Crop and Weather Reports:
http://www.today.agrilife.org

Additional River Information:
NWS: https://www.weather.gov/ahps/
USGS: http://water.usgs.gov/
IBWC: http://ibwc.state.gov/


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the
National Weather Service and National Climatic Data Center, 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 any questions or comments about this drought
information statement, please contact:
National Weather Service
426 Pinson Drive
Corpus Christi TX 78406
Phone: 361-289-0959
sr-crp.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$

GW



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