000
AXUS74 KFWD 010450
DGTFWD
TXC001-027-035-085-093-097-099-113-119-121-133-139-143-145-147-161-
181-193-213-217-221-223-231-237-251-257-277-281-289-293-309-331-333-
337-349-363-367-379-395-397-425-429-439-467-497-503-010000-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORT WORTH TX
1150 PM CDT THU MAR 31 2011

...DROUGHT WORSENS WITH LIMITED PRECIPITATION IN MARCH...

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SYNOPSIS...

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 2 YEARS...THE ENTIRE STATE OF TEXAS IS IN
AT LEAST THE ABNORMALLY DRY (D0) CATEGORY. THE 43 PERCENT OF THE
STATE IN EXTREME DROUGHT (D3) IS THE GREATEST EXTENT SINCE THE
2005-2006 DROUGHT. THE 6-MONTH PERIOD...OCTOBER TO MARCH...RANKS
AMONG THE DRIEST ON RECORD FOR TEXAS.

FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF NORTH TEXAS...6-MONTH PRECIPITATION
DEFICITS GENERALLY RANGE FROM 8 TO 14 INCHES. EVERY PART OF NORTH
TEXAS NOW HAS AT LEAST THE MODERATE DROUGHT (D1) DESIGNATION.
EXTREME DROUGHT (D3) REMAINS IN PLACE ACROSS MUCH OF EAST TEXAS.

ON MARCH 11...LARGE WILDFIRES CONSUMED NEARLY 15000 ACRES ACROSS
NORTH TEXAS. THE FIRE THREAT WILL CONTINUE IN APRIL UNTIL WARM
SEASON VEGETATION IS ABLE TO FULLY EMERGE. ALTHOUGH PRECIPITATION
TOTALS TYPICALLY INCREASE WITH THE ARRIVAL OF SPRING...CONSISTENTLY
ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL WILL BE NEEDED TO ERASE THE DEFICITS AMASSED
SINCE TROPICAL STORM HERMINE IN SEPTEMBER. UNFORTUNATELY...BELOW
NORMAL RAINFALL IS MORE LIKELY. AS SUCH...THE ONGOING DROUGHT IS
EXPECTED TO PERSIST OR WORSEN. ALTHOUGH WATER RESOURCES ARE
CURRENTLY ADEQUATE...SUFFICIENT SPRING RAINS WILL BE NEEDED TO
OFFSET THE DEMANDS OF THE APPROACHING SUMMER.

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SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS

EARLY SEASON WARMTH DURING THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS...PARTICULARLY THE
WARM NIGHTS...HAS ALLOWED WARM SEASON GRASSES TO EMERGE. THIS
GREENERY HAS CONSUMED MUCH OF THE ALREADY LIMITED MOISTURE FROM THE
TOPSOIL. RYEGRASS WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO EMERGE...BUT IT IS ALREADY
IN DECLINE. BERMUDA AND BAHIA ARE NOW TAKING OVER...BUT WITH LIMITED
GROWTH. ALTHOUGH WINTER FEEDING IS WANING...THERE IS NOT ENOUGH
PROPER FORAGE IN MANY AREAS...AND SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING CONTINUES.
SOME PASTURES SIMPLY CANNOT BE GRAZED. THE MAJORITY OF RANGELAND AND
PASTURES ARE RATED AS POOR OR VERY POOR.

SMALL GRAINS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE. AT THE END OF MARCH...AROUND 60
PERCENT OF WHEAT AND OAT CROPS WERE RATED AS POOR OR VERY POOR.
WILDFLOWERS HAVE HAD A DOWN YEAR WITH INADEQUATE MOISTURE AND WARMER
THAN IDEAL TEMPERATURES.

THE GROUND IS SIMPLY TOO DRY TO PLANT IN MANY AREAS. OVER 90 PERCENT
OF NORTH TEXAS HAS SHORT OR VERY SHORT SOIL MOISTURE. DESPITE THE
DRY SOIL...HALF OF THE ANTICIPATED CORN CROP HAS ALREADY BEEN
PLANTED...NEAR NORMAL FOR THE END OF MARCH. CORN IS EASY TO PLANT
WHEN DRY...BUT IT CAN FAIL TO EMERGE WITHOUT ADEQUATE WATER.
PREPARATORY TILLAGE HAS FURTHER DEPLETED MOISTURE FROM THE TOPSOIL.
DROUGHT-RESISTANT SORGHUM PLANTING IS ABOVE LEVELS FROM PREVIOUS
YEARS.

FIRE DANGER

SINCE JANUARY 1...OVER 4000 SEPARATE FIRES HAVE BURNED MORE THAN
HALF A MILLION ACRES STATEWIDE. ON MARCH 11...A WILDFIRE CHARRED
7500 ACRES IN JACK COUNTY...TEMPORARILY CLOSING HIGHWAY 380 AND
FORCING EVACUATIONS NEAR JACKSBORO. THAT SAME DAY...6200 ACRES
BURNED IN BOSQUE COUNTY. THERE WERE ALSO LARGE FIRES IN WISE AND
SOMERVELL COUNTIES.

AT THE END OF MARCH...THERE WERE 24 COUNTYWIDE BURN BANS WITHIN THE
NWS FORT WORTH AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY. TWO OTHER COUNTIES HAVE
PARTIAL OR CONDITIONAL BANS. EVEN IF A FORMAL BAN IS NOT IN EFFECT
FOR YOUR COUNTY...IT IS STILL IMPORTANT TO BE VIGILANT ABOUT FIRE
USE. UNTIL WARM SEASON VEGETATION FULLY EMERGES...DRY DORMANT
VEGETATION WILL REMAIN SUSCEPTIBLE TO FIRE INITIATION AND SPREAD...
PARTICULARLY WHEN THE HUMIDITY IS LOW AND WINDS ARE STRONG.

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CLIMATE SUMMARY...

SOME LOCATIONS EAST OF THE I-35 CORRIDOR SAW RAINFALL IN EXCESS OF
1/2 INCH DURING THE MONTH OF MARCH. HOWEVER...MANY LOCATIONS IN
NORTH TEXAS SAW LITTLE TO NO MEASURABLE RAINFALL. DALLAS/FORT WORTH
RECORDED ITS 2ND DRIEST MARCH ON RECORD...AND WACO HAD ITS DRIEST
MARCH SINCE 1972.

THERE HAS BEEN MINIMAL PRECIPITATION SINCE TROPICAL STORM HERMINE IN
SEPTEMBER. MUCH OF NORTH AND CENTRAL TEXAS HAS RECEIVED LESS THAN
HALF OF NORMAL PRECIPITATION DURING THE LAST 6 MONTHS. PRECIPITATION
DEFICITS DURING THAT TIME EXCEED 8 INCHES ACROSS MUCH OF THE REGION.
IN LEON COUNTY...THE DEFICITS ARE NEAR 16 INCHES.


                             6-MONTH PRECIPITATION
                       (OCTOBER 1, 2010 - MARCH 31, 2011)

                      TOTAL   NORMAL   DEPARTURE   PERCENT

DFW AIRPORT            7.30    16.58     -9.28        44
WACO                   8.48    15.85     -7.37        54

DALLAS LOVE FIELD      8.39    17.12     -8.73        49
FORT WORTH MEACHAM     6.15
DALLAS EXECUTIVE       7.50
FORT WORTH ALLIANCE    6.59
ARLINGTON              8.42    17.75     -9.33        47

DENTON                 6.92    17.65    -10.73        39
MCKINNEY               9.67    19.90    -10.23        49
TERRELL               12.58    21.32     -8.74        59
CORSICANA             11.29    20.17     -8.88        56
MINERAL WELLS          3.52    13.81    -10.29        25

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PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE DRY SPELL IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE DURING APRIL. THE CLIMATE
PREDICTION CENTER PROJECTS PRECIPITATION TOTALS IN THE DRIEST
TERCILE TO BE TWICE AS LIKELY AS THE WETTEST TERCILE DURING THE
FIRST HALF OF APRIL. FOR DALLAS/FORT WORTH...THE DRIEST TERCILE FOR
THE ENTIRE MONTH OF APRIL IS AT LEAST AN INCH BELOW NORMAL.

THE TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK HAS A REMARKABLY STRONG WARM SIGNAL FOR THE
SPRING...WITH THE WARMEST TERCILE THREE TIMES AS LIKELY AS THE
COOLEST. WARMER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES WOULD INTENSIFY THE DROUGHT
BY EVAPORATING SOIL MOISTURE AND WATER FROM AREA RESERVOIRS. WARM
TEMPERATURES ALSO MEAN INCREASED WATER USAGE.

TO ERASE ITS 6-MONTH PRECIPITATION DEFICIT DURING APRIL AND MAY...
DFW AIRPORT WOULD NEED TO ACCUMULATE WELL OVER 17 INCHES OF RAIN.
THIS HAS ONLY OCCURRED 4 TIMES IN 112 YEARS OF RECORDS. AS SUCH...
THE U.S. SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK EXPECTS THE DROUGHT TO PERSIST OR
WORSEN INTO THE EARLY SUMMER.

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HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

STATEWIDE RESERVOIR CAPACITY FELL BELOW 80 PERCENT IN MARCH...BUT
NORTH TEXAS WATER RESOURCES REMAIN GENERALLY HEALTHIER THAN THE
STATE AT LARGE. TARRANT REGIONAL WATER DISTRICT IS AT 89 PERCENT
CAPACITY. DESPITE DIMINISHING STREAMFLOW...THE VAST MAJORITY OF
RESERVOIRS WITHIN THE TRINITY AND BRAZOS RIVER SYSTEMS ARE AT
ADEQUATE LEVELS. THE NORTH TEXAS MUNICIPAL WATER DISTRICT HAS
ENACTED STAGE 1 WATER RESTRICTIONS...BUT THIS IS PRIMARILY DUE TO
THE ZEBRA MUSSEL INFESTATION IN LAKE TEXOMA...WHICH HAS HALTED THE
PUMPING OF WATER FROM THE LAKE INTO THE TRINITY SYSTEM.

ALTHOUGH WATER RESOURCES ARE GENERALLY ADEQUATE TO HANDLE DEMAND...
RESERVOIRS WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY STRESSED AS DROUGHT CONDITIONS
PERSIST INTO THE UPCOMING SUMMER. RESIDENTS ARE URGED TO BE
RESPONSIBLE ABOUT WATER USAGE...EVEN WHERE FORMAL RESTRICTIONS ARE
NOT IN PLACE. AVOID WATERING BETWEEN 10 AM AND 6 PM WHEN EVAPORATION
LIMITS ITS EFFECTIVENESS.

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NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THE NEXT DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED DURING THE
LATTER HALF OF APRIL.

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&&

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RELATED WEB SITES...

NWS FORT WORTH DROUGHT PAGE - WEATHER.GOV/FORTWORTH/?N=DROUGHT
NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM - DROUGHT.GOV
CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER - WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV

NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER - DROUGHT.UNL.EDU
U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR - DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM
DROUGHT IMPACT REPORTER - DROUGHTREPORTER.UNL.EDU

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...

THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR FACILITATES CONTINUOUS DISCUSSION AMONG
NUMEROUS AGENCIES...ACADEMIA...AND OTHER LOCAL INTERESTS. THE
EXPERTISE OF ITS MEMBERS HAS BEEN INVALUABLE IN DEVELOPING DROUGHT
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FOR OUR CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS.

THE DROUGHT IMPACT REPORTER (MAINTAINED BY THE NATIONAL DROUGHT
MITIGATION CENTER) HAS ALLOWED VARIOUS IMPACTS TO BE COMPILED WITHIN
ONE CLEARING HOUSE. THESE IMPACTS INCLUDE AGRICULTURAL ISSUES...
HYDROLOGIC DEFICITS...FIRE DANGER...AND OTHER SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC
CONSEQUENCES. A SUMMARY OF THE SUBMITTED IMPACTS IS INCLUDED IN EACH
DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT.

THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND THE TEXAS AGRILIFE EXTENSION
SERVICE PROVIDE ROUTINE ASSESSMENTS OF CROP AND PASTURE CONDITIONS
TO THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE (NASS)...PART OF THE
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA). THE PERIODIC
STATEWIDE SUMMARIES THAT RESULT ARE USED AS A PRIMARY SOURCE FOR THE
AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS SECTION.

THE TEXAS FOREST SERVICE (TFS) CONTINUALLY MONITORS VEGETATION
CONDITIONS AND WILDFIRE POTENTIAL. THE STATE AGENCY ALSO MAINTAINS A
CURRENT LIST OF COUNTYWIDE BURN BANS.

OUTLOOKS OF TEMPERATURE AND PRECIPITATION ARE SUMMARIZED FROM A
VARIETY OF PRODUCTS CREATED BY THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER (CPC).
CPC IS A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE (NWS) ENTITY WITHIN THE NATIONAL
CENTERS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PREDICTION (NCEP).

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QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON OUR DROUGHT
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES...PLEASE CONTACT...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE
3401 NORTHERN CROSS BLVD.
FORT WORTH, TX 76137

PHONE: (817) 429-2631
E-MAIL: SR-FWD.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

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$$

HUCKABY/25


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