Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Brownsville, TX

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000
AXUS74 KBRO 241802
DGTBRO

TXC047-061-215-247-261-427-489-505-261800
Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Brownsville TX
105 PM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

...Moderate to severe drought conditions return over portions of
deep South Texas...
...Seasonal drought outlook calls for drought conditions to persist
or develop across deep South Texas through the rest of the spring...

.SYNOPSIS...

Rainfall has been much below normal across most of deep south Texas
so far for the month of March especially across portions of Hidalgo
and Brooks counties. During the last 90 days...deep South Texas has
received anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of their normal rainfall
except across portions of Cameron...Willacy and Kenedy counties as
well as central portions of Starr county where 50 to 100 percent of
normal rainfall has fallen.

According to the latest United States Drought Monitor...severe (D2)
drought conditions have developed across northeast portions of
Hidalgo county. Moderate (D1) drought conditions were across Brooks
county...most of Jim Hogg and Zapata counties...and the eastern
portions of Hidalgo county as well as the extreme western portions
of Cameron...Willacy and Kenedy counties. Abnormally dry conditions
(D0) were across the remainder of deep South Texas except across
central portions of Starr and Cameron counties...eastern portions of
Willacy county and extreme southwest portions of Kenedy county.
Drought conditions across deep South Texas are affecting
agricultural interests and grasslands as well as ecologic and
hydrologic interests.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, the potential for
significant wildland fires is normal. The latest Fire Danger Map
from the Texas Inter-Agency Coordination Center (TICC) on March 23rd
indicated a moderate to high fire danger over the area. The latest
Keetch-Byram Drought Indices (KBDI) were 500 to 600 over most of
deep South Texas except for Kenedy county where indices were 400 to
500. County burn bans are currently in effect for Zapata, Jim Hogg,
Brooks, Starr and Willacy counties. Residents are urged to take
extra precautions when conducting any outside burning, and should
contact county officials for any scheduled burning. Residents are
also reminded that fire danger can change quickly from one day to
another as winds and relative humidity values vary.

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture and Texas
Agrilife Extension Service Agents...due to the very warm and dry
conditions, very short to short moisture levels were being reported
across the area. Rangeland and pasture conditions remained fair but
increasing daytime temperatures may cause grasses to begin showing
signs of drought stress. Body condition scores on cattle remained
fair with supplemental feeding slowing. In Hidalgo county, harvest
of sugarcane, citrus and vegetables continued.

WATER RESTRICTIONS.

According to the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality
(TCEQ)...there are currently 31 cities or water supply entities that
are under voluntary or mandatory water restrictions. There are 7
Public Water Supply entities in Cameron county, 13 in Hidalgo
county, 6 in Starr county, 3 in Zapata county and 2 in Willacy
county. All water users are urged to conserve water.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

Overall, February 2018 brought above normal temperatures and below
normal rainfall across most of deep South Texas except across
portions of Starr and Cameron counties where normal to above normal
rainfall fell.

Current rainfall to date for the month of March at Brownsville is
0.26 inches or 0.60 inches below normal. Year to date rainfall is
2.49 inches or 0.72 inches below normal.

Current rainfall to date for the month of March at Harlingen is 0.08
inches or 0.80 inches below normal. Year to date rainfall is 2.73
inches or 0.62 inches below normal.

Current rainfall to date for the month of March at McAllen is a
trace or 0.76 inches below normal. Year to date rainfall is 1.20
inches or 1.72 inches below normal.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

Meteorological outlook...March 25th through April 2nd...An upper
level ridge of high pressure across the western Gulf of Mexico on
the 25th will move eastward the 26th as an upper level trough of low
pressure develops and moves across the western United States. Not
much in the way of rainfall is expected across deep South Texas
through the 27th of March. Isolated to scattered showers and
thunderstorms are possible the 28th and 29th as a Pacific cold front
approaches on the 28th and moves through the area on the 29th.
Surface high pressure will build into south Texas on the 29th before
another front moves through the area on the 30th. Rainfall is not
expected with the weak cold front moving through on the 30th and not
expected from the 31st of March through the 2nd of April.

Temperatures will be much above normal the 25th through the 28th
before returning to slightly above normal on the 29th and near
normal on the 30th. Overall average temperatures will be near normal
from March 29th through April 2nd.

Rainfall totals will generally be a quarter of an inch to half an
inch across most of deep South Texas through March 31st. Overall
average rainfall will be near normal to below normal from March 29th
through April 2nd. Any rainfall that occurs through the rest of
March will provide some drought relief for the area.

The long range climate outlook for deep South Texas through June
2018...derived from guidance from the National Weather Service and
the Climate Prediction Center...indicates that generally above
normal temperatures and below normal rainfall will be expected for
deep South Texas through the rest of the Spring into the early
Summer of 2018. The latest seasonal drought outlook indicates that
drought is likely to persist or develop across deep South Texas
through the rest of Spring 2018. At this time...the potential for
drought conditions ending through June 2018 is low.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

According to the Texas Water Development Board (TDWB)...the current
Texas water share at Falcon Reservoir has decreased during the past
four weeks to 50.0 percent. This is a decrease from a previous level
of 54.7 percent three months ago. The Texas water share at Falcon at
this time last year was at 41.0 percent. The current Texas water
share at Amistad Reservoir has decreased slightly during the past
four weeks to 75.1 percent. This is a slight decrease from a
previous level of 75.7 percent three months ago. The Texas water
share at Amistad at this time last year was at 79.6 percent. The
reservoirs at Falcon and Amistad provide much of the water for the
Rio Grande valley. Residents, including growers and ranchers of the
lower Rio Grande valley are urged to take all necessary steps to
conserve water.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

The next Drought Information Statement will be issued around
Saturday, April 21st, 2018, unless conditions warrant an earlier
update.

RELATED WEB SITES...

For additional information...and the latest weather forecast for
deep South Texas...visit our website at www.weather.gov/rgv. You may
also visit the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center
website at www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov and get the latest information on
reservoir levels from the International Boundary and Water
Commission (IBWC) at www.ibwc.gov.

Additional web sites:

NWS BROWNSVILLE DROUGHT PAGE:
http://www.weather.gov/bro/drought

NWS BROWNSVILLE Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS):
http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=bro

U.S. Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

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

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

Texas Water Development Board Reservoir Website:
https://waterdatafortexas.org/reservoirs/statewide

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

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

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...

The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA`s
National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental
Information...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...the
USDA...state Agrilife Extension Service District agents, Texas Inter-
agency Coordination Center, Texas Forest Service, state and federal
wildlife departments Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
(TCEQ), Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and the International
Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC).

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

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

National Weather Service
20 South Vermillion Road
Brownsville, TX
Phone: 956-504-1432
Email: sr-bro.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$

Castillo


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