Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Tulsa, OK

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service TULSA OK
343 PM CDT Fri Mar 16 2018

...Moderate to Severe Drought remains in northeast Oklahoma with
significant improvement elsewhere...

Synopsis...

Heavy rain at the end of February brought significant drought
relief to much of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.
However, rainfall was much less northwest of Interstate 44, and
moderate to severe drought persists in that area. The data
provided in this statement will focus only on the D1-D2 area.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) valid March 15,
2018, Severe (D2) Drought conditions covered portions of Osage and
Pawnee Counties in northeast Oklahoma.

Moderate (D1) Drought conditions were present in portions of
Osage, Pawnee, Washington, Nowata, and Craig Counties in Eastern
Oklahoma.

Abnormally Dry (D0) but not in drought conditions remained over
parts of Creek, Pawnee, Osage, Tulsa, Washington, Rogers, Nowata,
Craig, and Ottawa Counties in northeast Oklahoma and Carroll
County in northwest Arkansas.

The USDM is a collaborative effort between several government and
academic partners. It is a weekly national product issued on
Thursday morning using data collected through the previous Tuesday
morning, so it does not consider precipitation which has fallen
after the data cut-off time.

There are five levels of intensity depicted on the USDM. The USDM
levels are the following: D0 - Abnormally Dry (not in drought but
showing dryness) D1 - Moderate Drought D2 - Severe Drought D3 -
Extreme Drought D4 - Exceptional Drought

The local Drought Information Statement is issued by the NWS
office in Tulsa when needed to supplement the national USDM
product. Local statements may be issued monthly during times when
the USDM indicates severe drought conditions or as local
conditions warrant.


Summary of Impacts...

State and Local Actions:
The Oklahoma State Climate Office (Oklahoma Climatological
Survey, OCS) hosts recorded briefings focused on the current
conditions, impacts, and outlooks for drought conditions across
the Southern Plains. Updated drought briefings are available at
www.youtube.com/user/SCIPP01

Soil Moisture Impact:
The OCS daily averaged fractional water index for March 15, 2018
shows values of 0.7 to 1.0 (where 1.0 is saturated and 0.0 is
completely dry) at 2, 4, 10, and 24 inches below ground across the
drought area.

As of March 16, 2018, the Arkansas-Red Basin River Forecast
Center (ABRFC) gridded soil moisture indicates that the upper
zone, which responds to short term rainfall, is 30 percent to
greater than 40 percent full, with isolated locations 20 to 30
percent full, across the drought area. This represents neutral
conditions for the area, with slightly agriculturally dry
conditions in the areas with lower soil moisture. These values
corresponds to 50 to 90 percent of normal across the area. The
lower zone was 20 to greater than 40 percent full in the drought
area, which represents neutral conditions. These lower zone
anomalies were 30 to 90 percent of normal.

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calculated soil moisture
anomaly analysis as of March 15, 2018 showed soil moisture was
20-60 mm (0.8-2.4 inches) below normal across eastern Oklahoma
and northwest Arkansas.

Fire Impacts:
A burn ban was in effect for Carroll County in northwest Arkansas
as of March 16, 2018. There has been a lot of recent fire
activity. The Oklahoma Forestry Service reported that on March 15,
2018, 6 fires burned 333 acres in the northeast protection area
and there was a 1,175 acre fire in Osage County and a 793 acre
fire in Washington County outside of the protection area.
According to the Oklahoma Forestry Services, fuel load is high now
due to cured dense vegetation from earlier in 2017, plus dried
out winter fuels due to the more recent below normal rainfall.
When weather conditions are conducive for fire, wildfire concerns
will be high due to this primed fuel load. Of particular concern
are the 1,000-hour fuels.

Agriculture:
According to the Osage County FSA, the farm ponds on the western
side of the county are 4-6 feet low and a producer who operates
around 10,000 acres in western Osage County reported it was still
dry.


Climate Summary...

Over the past 7 days, zero to a few hundredths of an inch of
rain, with isolated areas of around one tenth of an inch, fell
across the drought impacted area.

In the last 30 days, 1 to 4 inches of rain has fallen in the D0-D2
area of northeast Oklahoma. Most of this rainfall occurred at the
end of February.

According to OCS, for the last 30 days ending March 15, 2018,
northeast Oklahoma ranks as the 8th wettest period since records
began in 1921. North central Oklahoma ranks as the 39th driest.
Since the beginning of the Water Year (October 1, 2017), northeast
Oklahoma ranks as the 45th wettest and north central Oklahoma
ranks as the 8th driest.


Precipitation/Temperature Outlook...

Above normal temperatures are expected for the next 7 days,
however a cold front will bring a slight cool down Tuesday. The
approaching cold front will also bring rain chances to the drought
area Sunday and Monday, with the greatest chance for rain Sunday
night. The remainder of the 7-day forecast is dry.

The CPC 8-14 Day Outlook calls for an increased chance for near
normal temperatures and above normal rainfall across all of
eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.

Beyond this period, the CPC outlook for April 2018 (issued
March 15, 2018) indicates an enhanced chance for above normal
temperatures and an equal chance for above, near, and below median
rainfall across all of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.


Hydrologic Summary And Outlook...

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), all
reservoirs in the drought area of northeast Oklahoma were
operating at their normal conservation pool levels as of March 16,
2018.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the 7-day average
streamflow as of March 15, 2018 was below (10th-24th percentile)
normal across the drought area and the Arkansas River at Ralston
was much below (less than 10th percentile) normal.


Next Issuance Date...

This product will be updated on April 20, 2018 or sooner if
significant changes 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 Tulsa
http://weather.gov/tulsa/drought_info
http://weather.gov/tulsa

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

Oklahoma Climatological Survey Drought Tools
http://climate.ok.gov/index.php/climate/category/drought_wildfire

Arkansas Forestry Commission
http://www.forestry.state.ar.us

Oklahoma Forestry Commission
http://www.forestry.ok.gov

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

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 Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the USACE
and the USGS.

Questions or Comments...

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

National Weather Service Tulsa
10159 E. 11th St. Suite 300
Tulsa Oklahoma 74128
Phone: 918-838-7838
Email: sr-tsa.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$



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