DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
540 AM CST MON JAN 3 2011


                 ...DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT...

         ...NORTHWESTERN PARTS OF THE REGION STILL ENDURING
                    EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS...

      ...HEAVY RAIN AT THE END OF DECEMBER LESSENS DROUGHT
         IMPACTS OVER THE SOUTHEAST PORTION OF THE REGION...

SYNOPSIS...
A STRONG LA NINA PHASE WILL PERSIST THROUGH THE WINTER. THIS TYPE OF
WEATHER PATTERN USUALLY BRINGS SLIGHTLY WARMER TEMPERATURES AND A
CONSIDERABLY DRIER AIR MASS TO SOUTHEAST TEXAS. THE STRENGTH OF THIS
LA NINA EPISODE PORTENDS A RATHER DRY WINTER FOR SOUTHEAST TEXAS.
RAINFALL FOR DECEMBER 2010 VARIED GREATLY ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS.
THE NORTHERN AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF THE AREA COULD REALLY USE SOME
RAIN WHILE THE EASTERN PORTION HAS BEEN RELATIVELY WET. COLLEGE
STATION HAS RECEIVED LESS AN INCH OF RAIN IN FOUR OUT OF THE LAST
FIVE MONTHS. TO PUT THIS IN PERSPECTIVE...COLLEGE STATION HAS
RECEIVED 1.71 INCHES OF RAIN SINCE OCTOBER 1 2010. HOBBY AIRPORT ON
HOUSTON`S SOUTHEAST SIDE RECEIVED 4.55 INCHES OF RAIN ON DECEMBER
29TH...WHICH BY THE WAY WAS LARGEST DAILY RAINFALL EVENT FOR THE
MONTH OF DECEMBER. MORE FUN WITH NUMBERS...SINCE JULY 1ST...COLLEGE
STATION HAS RECEIVED 8.08 INCHES OF RAIN WHILE HOBBY AIRPORT
RECEIVED 7.66 INCHES OF RAIN IN JUST TWO DAYS (11/2/2010 - 3.11 INCHES
AND 12/29/2010 - 4.55 INCHES). WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS...SO TO SPEAK.

A STRONG COLD FRONT ON CHRISTMAS EVE BROUGHT A BAND OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS. RAINFALL AVERAGED AROUND A
HALF INCH OVER THE WESTERN PART OF THE AREA AND BETWEEN ONE AND TWO
INCHES OVER THE EASTERN PART. A SIGNIFICANT RAIN EVENT OCCURRED ON
DECEMBER 29 2010. THIS SECOND SYSTEM BROUGHT VERY HEAVY RAIN TO THE
SOUTHEASTERN PORTION OF THE HOUSTON/GALVESTON AREA...GENERALLY
SOUTHEAST OF THE US HIGHWAY 59 CORRIDOR. PARTS OF NORTHERN FORT
BEND...NORTHERN GALVESTON...SOUTHEASTERN HARRIS AND CHAMBERS COUNTY
RECEIVED IN EXCESS OF THREE INCHES OF RAIN. UNFORTUNATELY...AREAS
THAT HAVE BEEN DRY SUCH AS COLLEGE STATION...CALDWELL...BRENHAM AND
CROCKETT RECEIVED CONSIDERABLY LIGHTER RAINFALL AMOUNTS. BELOW IS A
TABLE WITH RAINFALL FROM DECEMBER 29TH. THE TABLE SHOWS THE
DISPARITY IN RAINFALL:

         WET          12/29 RAIN TOTALS     DRY    12/29 RAIN TOTALS

         HOU HOBBY    4.45 INCHES           COL STATION  0.15 INCHES
         ANAHUAC      3.67 INCHES           SOMERVILLE   0.15 INCHES
         SUGARLAND    3.18 INCHES           BRENHAM      0.17 INCHES
         NWSO HGX     2.51 INCHES           COLUMBUS     0.20 INCHES
         LIBERTY      2.20 INCHES           BELLVILLE    0.21 INCHES
         HOU IAH      1.96 INCHES           CROCKETT     0.23 INCHES
         LIVINGSTON   1.04 INCHES           HUNTSVILLE   0.23 INCHES
         CLEVELAND    1.00 INCHES           CONROE       0.39 INCHES

AS OF DECEMBER 28TH 2010...THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR SHOWS MUCH OF
THE NORTHERN PORTION OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS AND A PORTION OF THE TRINITY
RIVER BASIN IN EXTREME DROUGHT OR D-3. THIS AREA OF EXTREME DROUGHT
HAS COVERS AN AREA NORTH OF A LINE FROM BRENHAM TO HUNTSVILLE AND
EAST OF A HUNTSVILLE TO LIBERTY LINE. MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT
CONDITIONS COVER THE REST OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS EXCLUDING THE COASTAL
COUNTIES FROM MATAGORDA TO LEAGUE CITY. THE DROUGHT MONITOR WILL BE
UPDATED ON THURSDAY JANUARY 6TH AND WILL LIKELY SHOW SOME
IMPROVEMENT IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS.

BELOW IS A LIST OF COUNTIES AND THEIR RESPECTIVE CLASSIFICATION AS
DESIGNATED BY THE U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR AS OF DECEMBER 28TH:


   EXTREME D-3      SEVERE D-2      MODERATE D-1     ABNORMAL D-0
   DROUGHT          DROUGHT         DROUGHT             DRY

   BRAZOS          AUSTIN           BRAZORIA         GALVESTON
   BURLESON        CHAMBERS         JACKSON          MATAGORDA
   GRIMES          COLORADO         WHARTON
   HOUSTON         FORT BEND
   MADISON         HARRIS
   TRINITY         WALLER
   WALKER
   WASHINGTON
   SAN JACINTO
   POLK
   LIBERTY
   MONTGOMERY

                 U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR CLASSIFICATIONS


BELOW IS A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EACH DROUGHT CLASSIFICATION:

D4 EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT - EXCEPTIONAL OR WIDESPREAD CROP/PASTURE LOSS
   A SHORTAGE OF WATER IN RESERVOIRS AND STREAMS CREATING
   A WATER EMERGENCY.

D3 EXTREME DROUGHT - MAJOR CROP OR PASTURE LOSSES. WIDESPREAD WATER
   SHORTAGES AND RESTRICTIONS.

D2 SEVERE DROUGHT - CROP OR PASTURE LOSSES LIKELY. SOME WATER
   SHORTAGES COMMON AND SOME WATER RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED.

D1 MODERATE DROUGHT - SOME DAMAGE TO CROPS AND PASTURES. RESERVOIRS
   OR WELLS LOW. VOLUNTARY WATER RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED.

D0 ABNORMALLY DRY - SHORT TERM DRYNESS. PLANT GROWTH SLOWS. MINOR
   WATER DEFICITS.


FOR FURTHER CLARIFICATION...SEE EITHER (ALL LINKS IN LOWER CASE)
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/DM_STATE.HTM?TX.S OR FOR THE ENTIRE
COUNTRY SEE...HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...
IT IS NO SECRET THAT CONDITIONS ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS HAVE BEEN
DRY. THIS RECENT DRY PERIOD HAS INTENSIFIED OVER THE LAST THREE TO
FOUR MONTHS BUT THE DRY PERIOD ACTUALLY STARTED MUCH EARLIER. IT HAS
BEEN UNSEASONABLY DRY SINCE HURRICANE IKE (SEP 2008). ALTHOUGH THERE
HAVE BEEN A FEW HEAVY RAIN EPISODES OVER THE LAST 27 MONTHS...THE
OVERALL TREND HAS BEEN FOR DRIER WEATHER. BELOW IS A TABLE WITH THE
FOUR PRIMARY CLIMATE SITES ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS WITH MONTHLY
RAINFALL...DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL AND THE TOTAL RAINFALL DEFICIT
SINCE OCTOBER 2008:

                 HOUSTON INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT

          2008    DEP     2009     DEP     2010    DEP

JAN       NA      NA      0.49     -3.19   2.53    -1.15
FEB       NA      NA      1.52     -1.46   3.55    +0.57
MAR       NA      NA      4.08     +0.72   1.88    -1.48
APR       NA      NA     10.38     +6.78   2.81    -0.79
MAY       NA      NA      0.38     -4.77   3.68    -1.47
JUN       NA      NA      0.27     -5.08   3.75    -1.60
JUL       NA      NA      2.84     -0.34  12.92    +9.74
AUG       NA      NA      2.11     -1.72   1.02    -2.81
SEP       IKE     IKE     4.68     +0.35   4.81    +0.48
OCT       8.67    +4.17  13.16     +8.66   0.02    -4.48
NOV       2.92    -1.27   1.66     -2.53   2.71    -1.48
DEC       1.68    -2.01   5.44     +1.75   3.04    -0.65

SUM      13.27           47.01            42.72

NORMAL                   47.84            47.84

DEP      +0.89           -0.83            -5.12

MONTHS ABOVE NORMAL =  9
MONTHS BELOW NORMAL = 18

OVER THE LAST 27 MONTHS...BY A 2 TO 1 RATIO...MONTHLY RAINFALL HAS
BEEN LESS THAN NORMAL. THE 27 MONTH DEPARTURE HAS BEEN SKEWED
BY THE HEAVY RAINFALL EVENTS IN APRIL 2009...OCTOBER 2009 AND JULY
2010.

HOUSTON INTERCONTINENTAL AIRPORT HAS FARED BETTER THAN MOST
LOCATIONS IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS. WHILE MOST COMMUNITIES HAVE SUFFERED
8 TO 18 INCH RAINFALL DEFICITS SINCE 2008...HOUSTON IAH HAS ONLY
ENDURED A RAINFALL DEFICIT OF 5.06 INCHES SINCE OCTOBER 1 2008.

                        HOUSTON HOBBY AIRPORT

          2008    DEP     2009     DEP     2010    DEP

JAN       NA      NA      0.37     -3.88   2.30    -1.95
FEB       NA      NA      1.18     -1.83   3.38    +0.37
MAR       NA      NA      2.52     -0.67   2.04    -1.15
APR       NA      NA     15.61    +12.15   1.06    -2.40
MAY       NA      NA      0.66     -4.45   1.71    -3.40
JUN       NA      NA      1.39     -5.45   5.06    -1.78
JUL       NA      NA      3.62     -0.74  12.77    +8.41
AUG       NA      NA      1.63     -2.91   1.40    -3.14
SEP       IKE     IKE     5.31     -0.31   6.63    +1.01
OCT       2.62    -2.64  11.52     +6.26   0.07    -5.19
NOV       4.97    +0.43   1.88     -2.66   4.76    +0.22
DEC       0.86    -2.92   6.96     +3.18   5.84    +2.41

SUM       8.45           52.65            47.02

NORMAL                   53.96            53.96

DEP      -5.13           -1.31           - 6.94

MONTHS ABOVE NORMAL =  9
MONTHS BELOW NORMAL = 18

HOBBY AIRPORT ON HOUSTON`S SOUTHEAST SIDE HAS SUFFERED A RAINFALL
DEFICIT OF 13.38 INCHES SINCE OCTOBER 1 2008 WITH ABOUT A THIRD OF
THIS DEFICIT OCCURRING IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS.

                COLLEGE STATION EASTERWOOD FIELD

          2008    DEP     2009     DEP     2010    DEP

JAN       NA      NA      0.70     -2.62   2.93    -0.39
FEB       NA      NA      0.68     -1.70   2.77    +0.39
MAR       NA      NA      5.07     +2.23   2.62    -0.22
APR       NA      NA      6.11     +2.91   1.11    -2.09
MAY       NA      NA      1.41     -3.64   2.00    -3.05
JUN       NA      NA     TRACE     -3.79   7.31    +3.52
JUL       NA      NA      2.42     +0.50   1.23    -0.69
AUG       NA      NA      0.69     -1.94   0.34    -2.29
SEP       IKE     IKE     7.42     +3.51   5.86    +1.85
OCT       1.73    -2.49   8.25     +4.03  TRACE    -4.42
NOV       1.35    -1.83   3.42     +0.24   0.90    -2.28
DEC       0.80    -2.43   2.81     -0.42   0.81    -2.42

SUM       3.88           38.98            27.78

NORMAL                   39.67            39.67

DEP      -6.75           -0.69           -11.89

MONTHS ABOVE NORMAL =  9
MONTHS BELOW NORMAL = 18

COLLEGE STATION HAS SUFFERED A RAINFALL DEFICIT OF 19.33 INCHES
SINCE OCTOBER 1 2008 WITH OVER 40 PERCENT OF THIS DEFICIT OCCURRING
IN THE LAST THREE MONTHS.


                      GALVESTON SCHOLES FIELD

          2008    DEP     2009     DEP     2010    DEP

JAN       NA      NA      0.34     -3.74   2.27    -1.81
FEB       NA      NA      1.05     -1.56   3.47    +0.86
MAR       NA      NA      3.73     +0.97   1.41    -1.35
APR       NA      NA      5.23     +2.67   0.94    -1.62
MAY       NA      NA      0.19     -3.51   3.66    -0.04
JUN       NA      NA      0.32     -3.72   2.37    -1.67
JUL       NA      NA      2.72     -0.73   4.76    +1.31
AUG       NA      NA      1.08     -3.14   0.52    -3.70
SEP       IKE     IKE     5.24     -0.52   4.60    -1.16
OCT       1.37    -2.12   6.76     +3.27   0.11    -3.38
NOV       3.37    -0.27   3.97     +0.33   6.90    +3.26
DEC       1.82    -1.71   6.53     +3.00   2.13    -1.40

ANNUAL    6.56           37.16            33.14

NORMAL                   43.84            43.84

DEP      -4.10           -6.68           -10.70

MONTHS ABOVE NORMAL =  8
MONTHS BELOW NORMAL = 19

SINCE OCTOBER 1 2008 GALVESTON IS 21.48 INCHES OF RAIN BELOW NORMAL.
IN CONTRAST TO THE COAST...INLAND PORTIONS OF GALVESTON COUNTY
RECEIVED PLENTY OF RAIN IN BOTH 2009 AND 2010. AT THE NWS OFFICE IN
LEAGUE CITY...RAINFALL IN 2009 WAS 56.08 INCHES... ALMOST 20 INCHES
HIGHER THAN SCHOLES FIELD. IN 2010...LEAGUE CITY RECORDED 55.15
INCHES...AND THAT IS ABOUT 22 INCHES HIGHER THAN RAINFALL RECORDED
ON THE ISLAND. THE NORMAL ANNUAL RAINFALL IN LEAGUE CITY OVER THE
PAST 20 YEARS IS 59.40 INCHES.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...

DRY CONDITIONS PERSISTED. PONDS AND CREEKS WERE LOW AND SOIL
MOISTURE LEVELS WERE BECOMING CRITICAL. WINTER PASTURES WERE
STRESSED. WINTER WHEAT AND OTHER SMALL GRAINS MADE LITTLE PROGRESS
DUE TO THE LACK OF RAIN. PRODUCERS BEGUN APPLYING FERTILIZER TO
FIELDS FOR SPRING CROPS. PRODUCERS INCREASED RATIONS OF HAY AND
PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS FOR CATTLE. LIVESTOCK REMAINED IN FAIR TO GOOD
CONDITION.

FOR MORE INFORMATION...SEE HTTP://AGNEWS.TAMU.EDU (ALL LOWER CASE).

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...

100 HOUR FUEL MOISTURE WAS LESS THAN 25 PERCENT WEST OF A WINNIE TO
GALVESTON TO PALACIOS LINE AND LESS THAN 10 PERCENT WEST OF A
LIVINGSTON TO HOUSTON TO BELLVILLE. 1000 HOUR FUEL MOISTURE WAS
GENERALLY BETWEEN 25 AND 50 PERCENT ACROSS ALL OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS.
THE MOISTURE CONTENT IN 1000 HOUR DEAD FUEL WAS LESS THAN 18 PERCENT
WEST OF A APPLE SPRINGS TO NEW WAVERLY TO COLUMBUS LINE AND LESS
THAN 20 PERCENT OVER THE REMAINDER OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS. THE DAILY
FIRE MAP AND FIVE DAY AVERAGES SHOW MODERATE RISK IN PLACE.

RECENT RAINS HAVE HELPED TO LOWER KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDICES
ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS. VALUES BETWEEN 700 AND 800 ARE CRITICAL AND
EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. THE VALUES LISTED BELOW ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN
STABLE OR POSSIBLY IMPROVE IF ADDITIONAL RAIN SYSTEMS CROSS THE
STATE. BELOW IS A TABLE WITH KBDI VALUES (1/2/2011):

    600-700     500-600       400-500       300-400      200-300

    BRAZOS      AUSTIN        JACKSON       BRAZORIA     FORT BEND
    BURLESON    POLK          MONTGOMERY    LIBERTY      HARRIS
    GRIMES      SAN JACINTO                 MATAGORDA
    HOUSTON     WALLER                      WHARTON
    MADISON
    TRINITY
    WALKER
    WASHINGTON

GALVESTON AND CHAMBERS COUNTIES HAD KBDI VALUES BELOW 200.

(SEE THE LINK...ALL LOWER CASE HTTP://WEBGIS.TAMU.EDU/TFS/
KBDI_DAILY/ KBDICOUNTY.PNG).

RESTRICTIONS/ACTIONS...
THE UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE HAS BANNED ALL FIRES IN THE
NATIONAL FORESTS LOCATED IN THE STATE OF TEXAS. OFFICIALS ARE
CAUTIONING VISITORS AND CAMPERS ABOUT THE RISK OF FIRE IN THE
ANGELINA...SABINE...DAVY CROCKETT AND SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL FORESTS.

COUNTY BURN BAN DECLARATIONS HAVE REMAINED STATIC OVER THE LAST
WEEK AND MOST OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS IS COVERED WITH SOME TYPE OF
BURNING RESTRICTION.  ACCORDING TO THE TEXAS FOREST SERVICE WEB SITE
ON JANUARY 2 2010...(HTTP://TFSFRP.TAMU.EDU/WILDFIRES/ DECBAN.PNG)
...A BURN BAN IS IN EFFECT FOR THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES:

AUSTIN...BRAZORIA...BRAZOS...BURLESON...COLORADO...FORT BEND...
GRIMES...HOUSTON...JACKSON...LIBERTY...MADISON...MONTGOMERY...SAN
JACINTO...TRINITY...WALLER...WALKER AND WASHINGTON.

RESIDENTS SHOULD REMAIN VIGILANT WHEN DOING ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
WHICH INVOLVE FIRE OR SPARKS...BY MAKING SURE WATER IS QUICKLY
AVAILABLE IF AN UNWANTED FIRE OR SMOLDERING BEGIN. PARTS OF CENTRAL
AND EAST TEXAS WILL BECOME VULNERABLE TO ISOLATED WILDFIRES SO
CAMPERS...HUNTERS AND OTHER OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS SHOULD BE CAREFUL
WITH CAMP FIRES AND FIREARMS. WELDERS SHOULD ALSO EXERCISE CAUTION
WHILE PERFORMING THEIR DUTIES. FINALLY...MOTORISTS SHOULD NOT
DISCARD LIGHTED CIGARETTES FROM THEIR VEHICLES.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

RIVER LEVELS HAVE REMAINED UNCHANGED AND SEVERAL AREA RESERVOIRS
HAVE BEGUN TO RISE DUE TO RECENT RAINS.

     WATERSHED                   CAPACITY

LAKE LIVINGSTON                100.0 PERCENT
LAKE CONROE                     92.0 PERCENT
HOUSTON COUNTY LAKE             89.7 PERCENT
LAKE HOUSTON                   100.0 PERCENT
LAKE SOMERVILLE                 85.6 PERCENT
LAKE TEXANA                     82.3 PERCENT

WATER RESTRICTIONS...NONE AT THIS TIME.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

A COASTAL TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP AND THIS FEATURE WILL
SERVE AS A FOCUS FOR SHOWERS MAINLY NEAR THE COAST ON TUESDAY. A
WEAK UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE WILL CROSS THE SOUTHERN PLAINS TUESDAY
NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY. THIS FEATURE WILL TRIGGER SCATTERED SHOWERS
OVER THE NORTH LATE TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY. RAINFALL WITH
THESE FEATURES WILL AVERAGE AROUND A THIRD OF AN INCH OVER THE SOUTH
AND COAST AND PROBABLY A TENTH OF AN INCH OR SO OVER THE NORTH.

A SECOND AND POTENTIALLY MORE ROBUST SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO CROSS
TEXAS SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY. THIS SYSTEM WILL CONTAIN
SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER MOISTURE LEVELS AND IMPRESSIVE DYNAMICS. THIS
SYSTEM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO PROVIDE ALL OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS WITH
MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL. TOO EARLY TO CALL...BUT THE POTENTIAL IS
THERE FOR WIDESPREAD ONE TO TWO INCHES OF RAIN ACROSS PARTS OF
SOUTHEAST TEXAS.

THE SEASONAL DROUGHT OUTLOOK VALID DECEMBER 17TH THROUGH MARCH SHOWS
DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSISTING OR INTENSIFYING ACROSS SOUTHEAST
TEXAS.

THE NEXT DROUGHT STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED ON THURSDAY JANUARY 6TH OR
FRIDAY JANUARY 7TH.

$$

CR

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