Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS

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178
AXUS74 KLUB 241908
DGTLUB
TXC017-045-069-075-079-101-107-125-153-169-189-191-219-263-269-
279-303-305-345-369-433-437-445-501-101730-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LUBBOCK TX
0200 PM CDT THU APR 24 2014

...DROUGHT HAS DETERIORATED EVEN FURTHER FOR MOST OF THE TEXAS
SOUTH PLAINS REGION...

SYNOPSIS...
MOSTLY DRY CONDITIONS THROUGH THE MONTH OF APRIL CONTRIBUTED TO
WORSENING DROUGHT CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT WEST TEXAS.  D4 EXCEPTIONAL
DROUGHT CONDITIONS HAVE EXPANDED TO INCLUDE THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE
TEXAS PANHANDLE...ALONG WITH LARGE SECTIONS OF THE ROLLING PLAINS
AND SOUTH PLAINS.  ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE AREA...D3 EXTREME
DROUGHT REMAINS IN PLACE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE EXTREME SOUTHERN
AND WESTERN SOUTH PLAINS...WHERE A NARROW SLIVER OF D2 SEVERE
DROUGHT REMAINS IN PLACE.  ISOLATED TO SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS DID
MANAGE TO BRING MUCH NEEDED RAINFALL TO A FEW FORTUNATE
AREAS...PARTICULARLY OVER CHILDRESS COUNTY AND TO A LESSER EXTENT IN
OTHER PORTIONS OF THE SOUTH AND ROLLING PLAINS.  HOWEVER...THE
COVERAGE OF THIS RAINFALL WAS VERY LIMITED AND DID NOT MEANINGFULLY
IMPROVE DROUGHT CONDITIONS OVER MOST OF THE REGION.  AS WE
TRANSITION INTO THE CLIMATOLOGICAL WET SEASON FOR THE HIGH PLAINS
AND ALSO PLANTING SEASON FOR AREA FARMERS...SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL IS
BADLY NEEDED OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS BOTH FOR PLANTING AND ALSO
FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF NATURAL VEGETATION THROUGHOUT THE REGION.
UNFORTUNATELY...PROSPECTS FOR SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL APPEAR TO BE LOW
THROUGH THE END OF APRIL AND INTO EARLY MAY...WITH EQUAL CHANCES OF
ABOVE AND BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION THROUGH THE LATTER HALF OF MAY.


AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...
GIVEN THE SCANT RAINFALL ACROSS THE COUNTY WARNING AREA...
AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS REMAIN QUITE PRONOUNCED WITH MUCH OF THE AREA
IN EXTREME TO EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT CONDITIONS.  SOME MILD RELIEF WAS
NOTED FROM BROWNFIELD TO LUBBOCK WHERE A MODEST ONE HALF TO ONE INCH
OF PRECIPITATION WAS RECEIVED LAST WEEKEND.  WE HAVE SEEN SOME
MULTI-INCH RAINS IN THE  SOUTHWESTERN PANHANDLE AND NEARLY ONE INCH
RAINS IN THE EASTERN ROLLING PLAINS THOUGH THE IMPACTS ARE LOCALIZED.
MANY FIELDS REMAIN BARREN ACROSS THE SOUTHERN PANHANDLE AND SOUTH
PLAINS WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO BLOWING DUST. WHEAT CROPS WERE REQUIRING
SIGNIFICANT IRRIGATION AS THE PLANTS APPROACHED THE FLAG LEAF
STAGE.  SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDS WERE REQUIRED TO SUPPORT CALVING THOUGH
SOME RANCHERS REPORTED GOOD GAINS WHERE STOCKING RATES WERE
LIMITED.   IN THE ROLLING PLAINS...PASTURES AND CROPLANDS REMAINED
IN POOR CONDITION WITH HIGH WINDS FURTHER DAMAGING CROPS.  LACK OF
GRAZING LANDS FORCED SOME PRODUCERS TO CONSIDER SELLING THE
REMAINDER OF THEIR HERDS.  IN THE SOUTH PLAINS...THE RAINFALL
RECEIVED HELPED MITIGATE SOME EROSION ISSUES.  HOWEVER...A LATE
FREEZE ON 15 APRIL IMPACTED SOME ORCHARD AND VINEYARD OPERATORS
THOUGH WINTER WHEAT DAMAGE APPEARED MINIMAL.  RANGELAND AND PASTURES
WERE MOSTLY IN FAIR CONDITIONS WITH SUPPLEMENTAL FEED REQUIRED IN
SOME LOCATIONS.  CATTLE REMAINED IN FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...
A VERY DRY...WARM...AND WINDY PERIOD WILL EVOLVE STARTING LATE THIS
WEEK CONTINUING INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. THIS MAY TURN INTO THE LONGEST
EPOCH OF CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER THUS FAR THIS SPRING. FIRE WEATHER
SEASON IS FAR FROM FINISHED. AND GIVEN THE LACK OF RAIN AND SEASONAL
GREENUP...IT IS CAPABLE OF EXTENDING WELL INTO THE MONTH OF MAY.
ALTHOUGH ONLY LIMITED LARGE FIRES THIS SPRING HAVE OCCURRED...
AGENCIES ARE URGED TO MONITOR AREAS WITH LARGER OR CONTIGUOUS FUEL
LOADS. UNTIL GREENUP OCCURS...THE DRY GRASS AND BRUSHY AREAS WILL
REMAIN SUSCEPTIBLE TO FIRE SPREAD. AND EVEN SMALLER FIRES MAY BE
CAPABLE OF EXTREME BEHAVIOR. THE LATEST KEETCH-BYRAM DROUGHT INDEX
NUMBERS RANGED FROM 400 TO 600 ACROSS MOST AREAS WITH HIGHEST VALUES
OVER THE WESTERN SOUTH PLAINS...AND LOWEST AROUND CHILDRESS COUNTY
WHICH HAS SEEN THE MOST RECENT HEAVY PRECIPITATION. ENERGY RELEASE
COMPONENTS HAVE CONSISTENTLY BEEN ABOVE NORMAL THIS SPRING...WITH
EPISODES GREATER THAN THE 90TH PERCENTILE ALIGNING WITH THE WINDIER
AND WARMER PERIODS. COUNTY BURN BANS WERE IN PLACE FOR THE MAJORITY
OF THE REGION.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...
THE END OF MARCH AND THE FIRST COUPLE OF WEEKS OF APRIL WERE DRY FOR
MOST OF THE REGION. TEMPERATURES THE LAST WEEK OF MARCH WERE SEVERAL
DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE WITH THE WARM UP LASTING INTO THE FIRST FEW
DAYS OF APRIL BEFORE COOLER AIR SETTLED IN BRINGING TEMPS TO BE
SEVERAL DEGREES BELOW AVERAGE. THIS COOLER WEATHER DID BRING SOME
MOISTURE TO THE REGION WITH SOME AREAS RECEIVING UP TO ONE QUARTER
OF AN INCH OF RAIN DURING THE FIRST WEEK OF APRIL. FROZEN
PRECIPITATION WAS STILL PRESENT DURING THE BEGINNING OF APRIL AS
SOME STATIONS...INCLUDING THE LUBBOCK INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT...REPORTED SOME FALLING SNOW OR SLEET OF AROUND A TRACE.
SOME COOP OBSERVERS IN THE SOUTHERN TEXAS PANHANDLE REPORTED UP TO
THREE TENTHS OF AN INCH OF SNOWFALL THAT QUICKLY MELTED AFTER
SUNRISE.

BEYOND THE FIRST WEEK OF APRIL...THE AREA REMAINED MOSTLY DRY BUT
TEMPERATURES RODE A ROLLER COASTER GOING FROM AN AVERAGE OF 8
DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE TO NEARLY 20 DEGREES BELOW AVERAGE AFTER AN
ARCTIC FRONT PUSHED THROUGH THE REGION ON THE 14TH. THIS FRONT
BROUGHT LITTLE IN THE WAY OF PRECIPITATION WITH MOST STATIONS THAT
REPORTED HAVING PRECIPITATION REPORTED ONLY A TRACE OF ACCUMULATION.
MOISTURE FROM THIS SYSTEM DID STAY PUT FOR 5 DAYS WHICH AIDED IN
THE DEVELOPMENT OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ON THE 19TH AND 20TH IN
WHICH MOST OF THE REGION...SOME MORE THAN OTHERS. AREAS IN THE
SOUTHWESTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE AND THE SOUTHWESTERN ROLLING PLAINS SAW
LITTLE IN THE WAY OF RAIN RECEIVING FROM A TRACE TO JUST A FEW
HUNDREDTHS OF AN INCH. THE AREA THAT BENEFITED THE MOST DURING THIS
EVENT WERE AREAS IN THE EASTERN ROLLING PLAINS AND THE SOUTHEASTERN
TEXAS PANHANDLE. THE HIGHEST PRECIP REPORT DURING THESE 2 DAYS WAS
THE WEST TEXAS MESONET TWO MILES NORTHEAST OF CHILDRESS WHICH
RECEIVED 3.25 INCHES OF RAIN. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL FELL DURING THE
EVENING OF THE 23RD IN THE EASTERN ROLLING PLAINS BRINGING UP TO AN
ADDITIONAL...BUT ISOLATED...HALF INCH OF RAIN.

DESPITE THE MUCH NEEDED AND VERY WELCOMED RAINFALL OVER THE PAST
WEEK THE REGION STILL REMAINS IN AN OVERALL DEFICIT. SINCE APRIL 1ST
TO DATE THE LUBBOCK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REMAINS JUST BELOW ONE
HALF INCH OF PRECIPITATION BELOW AVERAGE WHILE THE CHILDRESS
MUNICIPAL AIRPORT IS RIGHT ON AVERAGE WITH 1.51 INCHES OF
PRECIPITATION...MOST OF WHICH FELL DURING THE EVENING OF THE 20TH.
TEMPERATURES REMAIN ABOUT ONE HALF DEGREE ABOVE AVERAGE THROUGHOUT
THE REGION.


PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
GENERALLY DRY CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO END APRIL AND BEGIN THE
MONTH OF MAY. HOWEVER...A STRONG STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING
THUNDERSTORMS WITH SOME POSSIBLY SEVERE TO THE ROLLING PLAINS AND
SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS PANHANDLE ON SATURDAY NIGHT...APRIL 26TH. THIS
UPPER LEVEL SYSTEM WILL BE STUBBORN IN MOVING OUT OF THE CENTRAL US
LEAVING THE SOUTHERN PLAINS IN DRY WEATHER CONDITIONS FOR AT LEAST
THE NEXT WEEK. THIS IS ALSO EXPECTED TO KEEP TEMPERATURES BELOW
SEASONAL AVERAGES. BY THE FIRST WEEK IN MAY...UPPER LEVEL RIDGING
WILL FILL IN BEHIND THIS STUBBORN SYSTEM AND WILL TEND TO RAISE
TEMPERATURES BUT KEEP PRECIPITATION OUT OF THE REGION. SOME RELIEF
TO THE LACK OF PRECIPITATION MAY ENTER THE REGION BY THE MIDDLE OF
MAY IN THE PEAK OF THE WET SEASON FOR WEST TEXAS.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
LEVELS OF THE THREE AREA RESERVOIRS CONTINUE ON A DOWNWARD TREND
OVER THE PAST 4 WEEKS DROPPING BETWEEN 0.4 TO 0.7 FEET.

THE FOLLOWING RESERVOIR CONDITIONS WERE REPORTED ON MARCH 27TH:

RESERVOIR SUMMARY CONSERVATION POOL 4-WEEK MAXIMUM PERCENT OF
                         POOL TODAY CHANGE DEPTH  CONSERVATION
                                           (FEET) CAPACITY
MACKENZIE LAKE           3100 3001.9 -0.4    52       5
WHITE RIVER LAKE         2370 2337.4 -0.5    10       0
LAKE ALAN HENRY          2220 2204.3 -0.7    61      62


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
THIS PRODUCT WILL BE UPDATED ON MAY 29TH OR SOONER IF NECESSARY IN
RESPONSE TO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN CONDITIONS.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON CURRENT DROUGHT CONDITIONS MAY BE FOUND
AT THE FOLLOWING WEB ADDRESSES /USE LOWER CASE LETTERS/:

DROUGHT MONITOR:
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHTMONITOR.UNL.EDU/

NOAA DROUGHT PAGE:
HTTP://WWW.DROUGHT.NOAA.GOV/

OFFICE OF THE TEXAS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST:
HTTP://CLIMATEXAS.TAMU.EDU/

NWS PRECIPITATION:
HTTP://WWW.WATER.WEATHER.GOV/PRECIP/

USGS:
HTTP://WATER.USGS.GOV/

USACE:
HTTP://WWW.MVR.USACE.ARMY.MIL/

CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER /CPC/:
HTTP://WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV/

USDA:
HTTP://WWW.USDA.GOV/OCE/WEATHER/

TEXAS AGRILIFE EXTENSION AGENCY CROP AND WEATHER REPORT:
HTTP://TODAY.AGRILIFE.ORG

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND THE NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER...
THE USDA...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTER CLIMATOLOGISTS AND THE
NATIONAL DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER. INFORMATION FOR THIS STATEMENT
HAS BEEN GATHERED FROM NWS AND FAA OBSERVATIONS SITES... THE TEXAS
TECH/WEST TEXAS MESONET...STATE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
SERVICES...THE USDA...USACE AND USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS DROUGHT
INFORMATION STATEMENT...PLEASE CONTACT...

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
2579 SOUTH LOOP 289 SUITE 100
LUBBOCK TEXAS  79423
PHONE: 806-745-4260
SR-LUB.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$

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