Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Corpus Christi, TX

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000
AXUS74 KCRP 130040
DGTCRP
TXZ229>234-239>247-150045-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Corpus Christi TX
740 PM CDT Sat May 12 2018

...ONLY SUBTLE CHANGES TO THE MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS IN
SOUTH TEXAS...

...SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK CALLS FOR DROUGHT CONDITIONS TO
PERSIST OVER THE DROUGHT AREAS THROUGH THE END OF JULY BUT
NOT SPREAD ELSEWHERE...


.SYNOPSIS...
Once again, most of South Texas saw below normal precipitation
during April. Most areas saw no more than 50 percent of their
normal rainfall for the month. However, southern portions of
Webb, Duval, Jim Wells, and Western Kleberg Counties saw near
to slightly above normal rainfall for the month. On top of that,
much of the Central and Eastern Brush Country saw beneficial and
much needed rainfall on May 4th and May 5th, with amounts ranging
from 1/2 inch to more than 1 1/2 inches. Unfortunately, other
areas saw much less rainfall during this event.

As a result of this widely variable precipitation, some portions
of South Texas saw improvement in their drought status, while
other locations saw worsening drought conditions since early
April. Nevertheless, the latest Drought Monitor shows no worse
than moderate drought (D1) conditions over portions of South
Texas. However, unless more rainfall is received in the upcoming
weeks, drought conditions can only worsen, especially because May
provides a large part of the annual precipitation over South
Texas.

According to the Drought Monitor Product, valid on May 8, 2018,
drought conditions exist over the Corpus Christi Hydrologic
Service Area (HSA):

Moderate Drought (D1):
- all of the counties of Bee, Goliad, Victoria, and Calhoun,
- all but a small portion of Southeast Refugio County,
- northern portions of Aransas County,
- eastern portions of Live Oak County and northeast portions of
  Jim Wells County,
- all but the eastern third of Nueces and San Patricio Counties,
- a small portion of extreme northern Kleberg County.

Abnormally Dry (D0): (outside D1 areas)
- the remainder of Live Oak, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Nueces, San
  Patricio, Refugio and Aransas Counties,
- a small portion of Eastern and Northeastern Duval County,
- all but a portion of Southwestern McMullen County,
- all but extreme Southeast and Northwestern portions of La
  Salle County.
- about the northwestern half and southeastern portions of
  Webb County.

The remainder of South Texas have no drought status as of May 8th.
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 May 12
2018, La Salle and Kleberg Counties have instituted burn bans.
Also, Refugio County has maintained 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 .

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

With nearly all of the city of Corpus Christi in abnormally dry
drought status (western portions are in moderate drought), the
city continues with city-wide voluntary water conservation
efforts. 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

For other public water systems (PWS) which may have water use
limits for their locals, click on the link:
https://www.tceq.texas.gov/drinkingwater/trot/droughtw.html

As the days get warmer and drier, it is important to keep water
conservation in mind. Not only does water usage increase in the
warmer months, but water evaporation from reservoirs increases.
As a result, water levels can fall dramatically and, if water
is wasted by many residents, water restrictions could come into
play sooner than needed. MAKE EVERY DROP COUNT!


AGRICULTURAL AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS...
The soil moisture anomaly map for May 11 shows moderately
dry conditions (-40mm to -60mm) over most of the area, with
slightly dry conditions (-20mm to -40mm) over western
portions of the HSA. Soil moisture percentiles are in the 20 to
30 percent range over most areas, except over the aforementioned
western areas where near normal (30 to 70 percent) values are
indicated. Crop moisture indices for early May were near normal
(slightly dry/favorably moist) conditions existed over the entire
HSA.

In an article in the North Texas e-News on April 28, supplemental
feeding and water hauling continued in parts of South Texas where
rain was needed. Ranchers and deer breeders were supplying feed
for livestock and wildlife. Some rangelands were struggling. More
on this story can be found at:
http://www.ntxe-news.com/artman/publish/article_110729.shtml

In an article in the Bryan-College Station Eagle on April 24,
South Texas rangelands and pastures were drying out and
stressed in some parts of the region. Grass was in scarce,
and stock tanks were starting to run dry. Pastures and forages
were deteriorating for lack of soil moisture, leading producers
to send cattle to market earlier than usual. Spring calf
development was slowed by poor grazing conditions. Cattle
continued to receive supplemental feeding of cubes and hay.
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-april/
article_4ece6f92-78ef-5ac6-97be-7c4bc5bd6537.html

The Drought Impact Reporter for April 26 reported that the
drought was affecting livestock and wildlife in South Texas.
Cattle was in poor condition, cattle crops not growing, no
water in tanks, or very little, and tanks are drying up.
They were also having to supplemental feed wildlife and cattle.

The Texas Crop and Weather Report from AgriLife TODAY on May 8
reported the following conditions:

Coastal Bend Region:
- Soil moisture conditions were critical for row crops, rangeland
  and pastures.

- Some cotton was re-planted due to wind damage, and rice
  planting should finish soon.

- Producers sprayed for weeds in row crops.

- Cattle remained in good condition.

- Hay supply levels remained adequate.


South Region:
- Most of the district reported mild and dry weather conditions
  with short moisture levels.

- Wheat, oats and red potato harvest continued. Some earlier
  planted wheat fields were ready for harvest as soon as fields
  dried.

- Cotton planting was complete and the crop had emerged. Cotton,
  corn, sorghum and cabbage made good progress. However, some
  cotton was sitting stagnant with the lack of rainfall and heat
  units.

- Corn fields were in the slicking stage.

- Pasture and rangeland conditions were fair to poor.

- Body condition scores on cattle remained in good to
  fair condition.

- La Salle County reported no rice or soybeans planted due to
  drought.

- Crops looked good, especially Coastal Bermuda grass and
  vegetables.

- Producers were providing supplements and hay to reduce
  grazing pressure.

- Water hauling and supplemental feeding continued in areas
  that did not receive rain, and some producers began to
  reduce livestock numbers.

- Farmers reported corn was taking a hit on yields already, and a
  few hay fields were harvested, but quality was less than
  desirable.

- The onion harvest was active, and the melon harvest was
  beginning.


FIRE DANGER HAZARDS...
According to the Fire Danger Map from the Texas Inter-Agency
Coordination Center (TICC) on May 11, there was a moderate fire
danger over the entire HSA. Humid conditions along with only
moderate winds have kept the fire danger from being higher,
despite the above average temperatures.

County-averaged Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) have
increased over most counties, with values ranging from
400 to 600 (as opposed to 300 to 500 in early April). The
higher values (500 to 600) are over the coastal counties
including Refugio County), as well as the inland counties
of Bee, Goliad and Victoria. As warmer and drier weather
continues to be forecast (at least over the next several
days), KBDI values will likely increase if additional
widespread rainfall is not received.


CLIMATE SUMMARY...
The month of April came in cooler and drier for South Texas.
Average temperatures for the month were 1.7 degrees below normal
at Corpus Christi, 1.8 degrees below normal at Victoria, and 1.1
degrees below normal at Laredo.

Most locations received rain, but not enough to reach monthly
normals. In fact, most locations received well below normal with
the exception of locations across the southern HSA between Laredo
to Kingsville. This region received nearly 90 to 125 percent of
normal rainfall. Outside of this region, however, areas received
roughly less than 50 percent of normal for the month.

Over the HSA, 90-day rainfall departures from normal as of May 12
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 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 April,
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
                      APRIL            2018         10/01/2017 -
                                                    04/30/2018

CORPUS CHRISTI     0.26 (-1.58)     4.00  (-3.20)  11.08  (-3.56)

VICTORIA           1.39 (-1.43)     5.52  (-4.67)   8.62 (-11.76)

LAREDO AIRPORT     0.52 (-0.90)     2.46  (-1.92)   6.06  (-2.01)

For the three climate stations, the 2018 percentage of normal
rainfall were: 55.6 percent at Corpus Christi, 54.2 percent at
Victoria, and 56.2 percent at Laredo.

The 2018 water year percentages so far are: 75.7 percent at
Corpus Christi, 42.3 percent at Victoria, and 75.1 percent at
Laredo.

La Nina conditions are slowly coming to an end over the
equatorial Pacific with La Nina conditions continuing to weaken
during the spring. The latest weekly SST (sea surface temperature)
departure on May 7 in the Nino 3.4 region was -0.2 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 (April through May time frame), with a 50% 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 May 19 through May 25 call for above normal
temperatures over the entire HSA, with near to below normal
rainfall over the entire HSA.

The monthly rainfall outlook for May calls for equal chances of
below, near, or above normal rainfall across the western HSA,
with slightly above normal rainfall across the eastern HSA. The
May temperature outlook calls for a greater likelihood for above
normal temperatures.

The CPC 3 month temperature and rainfall outlook for May through
July forecast a greater likelihood for above normal temperatures
and an equal chance for below, near, or above 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 July,
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 below normal soil conditions over the HSA.


HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
According to the USGS streamflow map on May 12, the San Antonio
River, Frio River at Tilden, and Nueces River at Blunzter, along
with Placedo, San Miguel, and Oso Creeks have normal flows. The
Guadalupe River, Aransas River, Atascosa, and Nueces River at
Tilden have below normal flows. Coleto and Copano Creeks have much
below normal flows. Low flow is observed at San Fernando Creek.
After a period of above normal flow along the Rio Grande due to
reservoir releases, normal flow is being observed along the Rio
Grande.

Overall, reservoir levels have fallen over the last month or so,
as lack of widespread rainfall, increased water usage, and warming
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
May 12, 2018, and previous levels as of April 5, 2018.

Reservoir      Normal  Current  Percent  Previous Change
                Pool     Pool  Capacity    Pool    (ft)
Choke Canyon   220.5    194.5    27.8     195.1    -0.6
Lake C. C.      94.0     91.6    82.1      92.5    -0.9
Lake Texana     44.0     39.9    77.8      41.3    -1.4
Coleto Creek    98.0     95.9    83.8      96.4    -0.5
Canyon Dam     909.0    905.4    92.4     905.6    -0.2
Lake Amistad  1117.0   1087.8    73.0    1093.9    -6.1

The combined system capacity for the Corpus Christi Reservoir
System as of May 12 was at 42.9 percent, which is 2.6
percentage points lower than on April 5.


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
The next Drought Information Statement will be issued sometime
in June, 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/CB


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