Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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AXUS74 KAMA 301809
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OKC007-025-139-TXC011-065-087-111-117-129-179-195-205-211-233-295-
341-357-359-375-381-393-421-483-011815-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
109 PM CDT Fri Mar 30 2018

...Extreme to Exceptional drought conditions continue across the
Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles as a result of much below normal
precipitation...


Synopsis...

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) updated and released on March
29, has most of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle in extreme drought
(D3), with the exception of the eastern Oklahoma Panhandle and
northeastern Texas Panhandle which are now in exceptional drought
(D4). Many areas across the combined TX/OK Panhandle have seen some
rain anywhere from 0.01" to 0.25" from a recent system. This is a
welcomed site, however it is still not enough to come out of drought
conditions.  This year`s La Nina has helped in the "dry slotting" or
blocking of moisture to our region, but is now diminishing.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Amarillo covers 23 counties
which includes all of the Oklahoma Panhandle and all of the Texas
Panhandle.

There are 5 levels of intensity with regards to the USDM and those
levels are as follows:

D0 - Abnormally Dry
D1 - Moderate Drought
D2 - Severe Drought
D3 - Extreme Drought
D4 - Exceptional Drought

The USDM releases a weekly product each Thursday morning and is
produced through a partnership between the National Drought
Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska, the U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA). The USDM is based on measurements of
climatic, hydrologic, and soil conditions as well as reported
impacts and observations.

The local Drought Information Statement is issued by the NWS office
in Amarillo when needed to supplement the national USDM product.
Local statements are generally generated monthly but can be issued
bi-monthly during times when the USDM indicates severe drought
conditions or as local conditions warrant.



Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions:
No known state or local actions are currently in place at this time.

Agricultural Impacts:

Some areas of the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles are reporting the
winter wheat to be completely destroyed, including most of the
irrigated wheat as it was too cold to run irrigation often enough.
Those that do have winter wheat, it is coming out of dormancy and
showing signs of stress. Soil erosion is evident for the Oklahoma
Panhandle. Without the support of the winter wheat, there has
been a reduction in head of cattle. Some of the Panhandles have
received light amounts of precipitation over the past week; this
may have some beneficial impact on the surviving winter wheat in
aiding to limit further stress damage.

Fire Impacts:

Near to above normal precipitation during spring and summer of
2017 had resulted in above normal fuel loading. Drought conditions
that began in October 2017 and persisted into this month along
with cured fuels have increased the significant fire danger
potential into early spring. Increased fire activity has already
been observed through March of this year.

Burn bans are in place across the entire Texas and Oklahoma
Panhandles.

Note that the fire danger conditions can change quickly from day to
day as 20 foot winds and minimum afternoon relative humidities vary.
The Texas A&M Forest Service advises to watch out for key weather
thresholds of 20 foot winds above 15 to 25 mph and relative
humidities below 15 to 25 percent. When these thresholds are
exceeded, expect the fire danger conditions to increase to elevated
and critical.


Climate Summary...

Just last week Amarillo finally measured almost a quarter of an inch
of rain.  The eastern half of the Texas Panhandle saw similar to
equal amounts while other areas especially Oklahoma Panhandle and
northwest half of the Texas Panhandle saw little to none. The last
measurable precipitation in Amarillo before this rain was the 0.01"
on 17 February which broke the 126 day (record breaking) streak
without measurable precipitation.

Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

Overall, there is little to no chance for precipitation in the next
7 days across the combined Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles.

Across the NWS Amarillo area, the Climate Prediction Center`s (CPC)
8-14 day outlook, shows a 40% chances for above normal
precipitation. For the 8-14 day temperature outlook, we have equal
chances of being above or below normal temperatures.

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook...

Area reservoirs are below conservation levels and stream flows are
near normal with a few rivers and creeks running slightly below
normal in the eastern Panhandles.

Next Issuance Date...

The drought information statement may be updated on April 30th,
2018, or sooner if significant chances in drought conditions occur.


Related Websites...

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

U.S. Drought Monitor
http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html

National Weather Service Amarillo http://weather.gov/amalittle to no
precipitation has fallen across western parts of the Panhandles, but
some areas across eastern parts of the Panhandles received moisture
near a quarter of an inch.

Texas A&M AgriLife
https://agrilife.org

Oklahoma Agriculture Food and Forestry
https://www.oda.state.ok.us

Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast Center
http://weather.gov/abrfc/DROUGHT

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District
http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil

U.S. Geological Survey Realtime Data
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt

U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch
http://waterwatch.usgs.gov
little to no precipitation has
fallen across western parts of the Panhandles, but some areas across
eastern parts of the Panhandles received moisture near a quarter of
an inch.
Climate Prediction Center
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov


Acknowledgments...

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a collaborative effort between several
government and academic partners including the NWS, the National
Climatic Data Center, the USDA, state and regional climatologists,
and the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Information for this statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA
observation sites, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S.
Geological Survey.


Questions or Comments...

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information
statement, please contact:

National Weather Service Amarillo
1900 English Road
Amarillo, Texas 79108
806-335-1121

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