Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS

Skip options and go directly to product.
Home | Oldest Version | Previous Version | Current Version | All | Text Only | Save Text | Print | Product List | Glossary Off

Skip product version selection by date and time.   

976
AXUS74 KLUB 271722
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
1222 PM CDT THU MAR 27 2014

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

SYNOPSIS...
A VERY DRY START TO THE NEW YEAR HAS LED TO EXPANSION OF EXTREME
DROUGHT FROM THE EXTREME SOUTHERN TEXAS PANHANDLE THROUGH THE
NORTHERN AND CENTRAL SOUTH PLAINS AND MOST OF THE ROLLING PLAINS.
EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT REMAINED ACROSS WESTERN BRISCOE...EASTERN
SWISHER...AND MUCH OF FLOYD COUNTIES...WHILE SOMEWHAT LESS SEVERE
DROUGHT CONDITIONS REMAINED ACROSS THE EXTREME WESTERN AND
SOUTHERN SOUTH PLAINS...ESPECIALLY AROUND GARZA COUNTY.

THE LACK OF MOISTURE HAS CONTRIBUTED TO LESS SURVIVAL OF WINTER
GRASSES THAN NORMAL...AND THUS MORE OPEN LAND TO PROVIDE SOURCES
OF DUST FOR THE FREQUENT WIND STORMS IN SPRING. DUST STORM
ORIGINATION AREAS ALSO HAVE EXPANDED MORE INTO ADJACENT PARTS OF
EASTERN NEW MEXICO AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO DURING THE EXTENDED
DROUGHT. SEVERAL RECENT SEVERE WIND AND DUST STORMS...WITH WIND
SPEEDS FROM 30 TO 50 MPH...ALREADY HAVE ENVELOPED THE REGION. IN
PAST DROUGHT CYCLES...THESE TYPES OF CONDITIONS HAVE BEEN KNOWN TO
FEED UPON THEMSELVES...WITH MORE OPEN LAND LEADING TO HIGHER
TEMPERATURES AND EVAPORATION RATES...AND THUS EVEN LESS MOISTURE
AS WE HEAD INTO THE WARMER MONTHS AHEAD. SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD
PRECIPITATION IS BADLY NEEDED IN THE COMING 5 TO 10 WEEKS IN ORDER
TO IMPROVE THE CHANCES FOR SUCCESSFUL SUMMER CROPS AND ALSO TO
PROVIDE ADEQUATE VEGETATIVE COVER TO HOLD SOIL DOWN AND KEEP
TEMPERATURES CLOSER TO NORMAL RANGES.

AGRICULTURAL IMPACTS...
OTHER THAN A FEW AREAS IN THE SOUTHERN ROLLING PLAINS WHICH HAVE
RECEIVED BENEFICIAL MOISTURE...THUS PROMOTING WHEAT GROWTH...
THE MAJORITY OF THE AREA WAS SUFFERING FROM THE EXTREME DROUGHT.
VERY DRY SOILS TO SEVERAL FEET IN DEPTH AND LACK OF GROUND COVER
HAVE MADE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO HOLD THE DIRT IN PLACE. PRE-PLANTING
ACTIVITIES WERE STRUGGLING UNDER THESE CONDITIONS...IN BETWEEN THE
DUST STORMS AND OCCASIONAL WALLS OF DUST OR HABOOBS ALONG COLD
FRONTS. WINTER WHEAT ACROSS THE SOUTH PLAINS WAS SUFFERING WITH
SOME PLANT DISEASES OBSERVED. LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS CONTINUED TO
SUPPLEMENT FEED TO CATTLE. PASTURES WITH SURVIVING GRASSES MAINLY
OVER THE ROLLING PLAINS WERE BADLY IN NEED OF MOISTURE TO BRING
OUT SUMMER GRASSES AND SUPPLY ENOUGH GRAZING FOR LIVESTOCK.

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS...
WITH VERY LIMITED MOISTURE...ONLY SLIGHT GREENING OF VEGETATION
HAS BEEN NOTED THUS FAR. GRASSES AND OTHER FINE FUELS REMAINED VERY
DRY AND PRONE TO FIRE SPREAD. CONTIGUOUS AREAS OF THE DRY FUELS
REMAINED LIMITED AFTER THE LONG DROUGHT. BUT A NUMBER OF AREAS OF
CONCERN FOR LARGE FIRE SPREAD STILL EXISTED...ESPECIALLY FROM THE
NORTHEASTERN SOUTH PLAINS INTO PARTS OF THE EXTREME SOUTHEAST
TEXAS PANHANDLE. THIS IS AN AREA THAT RECEIVED NEARLY NORMAL
PRECIPITATION LAST SUMMER AND EARLY FALL...AND THUS A MORE ROBUST
GROWTH OF GRASSES. BUT ALL AREAS REMAINED SUSCEPTIBLE TO SMALLER
BUT VERY ACTIVE FIRE GROWTH. WITH THE RECENT TURN TO DRIER AND
WARMER CONDITIONS...THE ENERGY RELEASE COMPONENTS HAVE MORE
FREQUENTLY BEEN APPROACHING THE CRITICAL 90 PERCENT LEVELS...WHICH
CAN CONTRIBUTE TO THE STRENGTH OF THE ACTIVE FIRE FRONT. BECAUSE
OF THE EXTREME CONDITIONS...BURN BANS NOW COVERED MOST COUNTIES IN
THE REGION. APRIL IS TYPICALLY THE PEAK OF FIRE SEASON FOR THE
TEXAS SOUTH PLAINS REGION...AS THE SEVERE WIND STORMS TEND TO
OVERLAP WITH THE WARMING AND STILL CURED FUEL LOAD. WILDFIRES THUS
FAR THIS WINTER AND SPRING HAVE BEEN SLIGHTLY MORE ACTIVE THAN
LAST YEAR. DILIGENCE IN ASSURING CONTROL OF PRESCRIBED BURNS AND
OTHER ACTIVITIES INVOLVING HEAT SOURCES WILL BE CRITICAL. LAND
MANAGERS ARE URGED TO CHECK WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT IF PLANNING
A BURN...AND TO REQUEST A SPOT WEATHER FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...
MARCH BROUGHT VARIABLE WEATHER TO WEST TEXAS AS IT QUITE COMMON
FOR EARLY SPRING...WITH PERIODIC COLD FRONTS MOVING THROUGH
APPROXIMATELY EVERY TWO TO THREE DAYS ON AVERAGE. IN ADVANCE OF
THE COLD FRONTS...SEVERAL DAYS SAW HIGHS PEAKING IN THE 70S AND
80S...WHILE AVERAGE TO WELL BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOLLOWED
EACH FRONT. OVERALL...TEMPERATURES THROUGH THE 26TH OF MARCH
AVERAGED ABOUT 2 DEGREES BELOW THE MEDIAN FOR THIS STRETCH OVER
THE 102 YEARS OF RECORDS AT LUBBOCK.

SEVERAL OF THE COLD FRONTS AND ASSOCIATED UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES
DID BRING PRECIPITATION TO THE REGION...THOUGH AMOUNTS WERE
GENERALLY LIGHT. ONE EVENT ON MARCH 2ND BROUGHT ANYWHERE FROM A
TRACE TO A COUPLE TENTHS OF AN INCH OF LIQUID...WHICH FELL IN THE
FORM OF FREEZING RAIN AND SNOW. THE HEAVIEST PRECIPITATION FAVORED
THE SOUTHERN TEXAS PANHANDLE ON THE 2ND AND INCLUDED AN INCH OF
SNOW AT DIMMITT AND MATADOR. ANOTHER BOUT OF LIGHT PRECIPITATION
AFFECTED THE REGION ON MARCH 15TH. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS DROPPED A TENTH TO HALF INCH IN MANY SPOTS ACROSS
THE SOUTHEAST TEXAS PANHANDLE THROUGH THE CENTRAL ROLLING PLAINS.
IN ADDITION...ANOTHER BAND OF SHOWERS DROPPED UP TO A COUPLE
TENTHS OF AN INCH OVER THE SOUTHWEST SOUTH PLAINS. A FINAL ROUND
OF RAIN AFFECTED MOST OF THE AREA ON THE MORNING OF THE 26TH WITH
MANY SPOTS PICKING UP SEVERAL HUNDREDTHS TO A FEW TENTHS OF AN
INCH. ALL SAID...RAIN TOTALS THROUGH THE 26TH OF MARCH VARIED FROM
AROUND A TENTH OF AN INCH TO NEAR AN INCH IN POCKETS OF THE
CENTRAL AND NORTHERN ROLLING PLAINS...WITH A MAJORITY OF LOCATIONS
RECEIVING ONE QUARTER TO THREE QUARTERS OF AN INCH OF RAIN. THIS
COMPARES TO THE MONTHLY NORMALS WHICH RANGE FROM AROUND AN INCH ON
THE CAPROCK TO AN INCH AN A HALF IN THE EASTERN ROLLING PLAINS.
THUS...MOST LOCATIONS AGAIN SAW A DEFICIT IN PRECIPITATION WHEN
COMPARED TO NORMAL...WITH 25 TO 75 PERCENT OF NORMAL VALUES
COMMON...AND POCKETS OF 25 PERCENT OR LESS OF NORMAL OVER PORTIONS
OF THE SOUTHERN TEXAS PANHANDLE INTO THE ROLLING PLAINS.

LOOKING BACK MUCH FURTHER...THE PAST THREE AND A HALF YEAR PERIOD
SINCE OCTOBER OF 2011 HAS BEEN THE DRIEST ON RECORD AT
LUBBOCK...TOTALING ONLY 32.98 INCHES. THIS IS OVER 8 INCHES LESS
THAN THE PREVIOUS DRIEST 42 MONTH PERIOD THAT OCCURRED IN THE
MID-1950S AND IS ABOUT 30 INCHES LESS THAN NORMAL FOR THIS STRETCH.
THIS IS CERTAINLY A TESTAMENT TO HOW PROLONGED AND INTENSE THIS
CURRENT DROUGHT HAS BEEN.

ADDITIONALLY...THIS MARCH BROUGHT SEVERAL ROUND OF STRONG WINDS AND
BLOWING DUST INCLUDING MORE EXTREME EVENTS ON MARCH 11TH AND MARCH
18TH.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
SEASONABLY MILD TO SOMEWHAT ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED
THROUGH THE FIRST COUPLE DAYS OF APRIL. DRY CONDITIONS WILL ALSO BE
THE RULE THROUGH THE WEEKEND...WITH PERHAPS A SMALL CHANCE OF A
THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPING IN THE ROLLING PLAINS BY TUESDAY...APRIL
2ND.

THE 6 TO 10 DAY OUTLOOK FROM THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER CALLS
FOR THE LIKELIHOOD OF ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND BELOW
NORMAL CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION FOR THE SOUTH PLAINS REGION FROM
APRIL 1ST THROUGH 5TH. BEYOND THIS TIME FRAME...THE ONE MONTH
OUTLOOK FOR APRIL AND THE THREE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR THE APRIL-MAY-JUNE
TIME-FRAME FAVOR ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND EQUAL CHANCES OF
BELOW NORMAL...ABOVE NORMAL OR NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
AREA RESERVOIRS LEVELS TRENDED DOWNWARD OVER THE PAST MONTH...
DROPPING BETWEEN 0.3 AND 0.5 FEET OVER THE PAST FOUR WEEKS. SINCE
EARLY OCTOBER 2013...LAKE LEVELS HAVE DECREASED BETWEEN 1.5 AND 2.1
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 3002.3 -0.3    52       5
WHITE RIVER LAKE         2370 2337.9 -0.4    11       0
LAKE ALAN HENRY          2220 2205.0 -0.5    62      63


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
THIS PRODUCT WILL BE UPDATED ON APRIL 24TH 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

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...
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

$$

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.