North Platte Drought Information Statement
MODERATE DROUGHT AREA CONTINUES TO SHRINK SLIGHTLY
ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA
 
SYNOPSIS
 
PERSISTENT SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW ALOFT IN MID TO LATE JUNE...BROUGHT ABUNDANT RAINFALL TO WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. THIS PATTERN TRANSITIONED TO RIDGING ACROSS THE WESTERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY BY EARLY JULY. WITH HIGH PRESSURE ANCHORED ACROSS THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST...NORTHWESTERLY FLOW ALOFT...HAS DECREASED THUNDERSTORM COVERAGE ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS. THE LACK OF THUNDERSTORM COVERAGE...HAS LED TO MUCH DRIER CONDITIONS ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA THROUGH MID JULY. AFTER COOLER CONDITIONS ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF DAYS...RIDGING ALOFT WILL PUSH EAST INTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS LATER THIS WEEKEND. THIS WILL PUSH HIGH TEMPERATURES BACK INTO THE 90S FOR THE WEEKEND AND EARLY NEXT WEEK. DRY CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE AS WELL WITH RIDGING EXPECTED ACROSS THE ROCKIES AND CENTRAL PLAINS OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
 

LOCAL AREAS AFFECTED
 
AS OF JULY 15TH ACCORDING TO THE US DROUGHT MONITOR...MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING ACROSS TWO SECTIONS OF THE AREA. ONE SECTION INCLUDES SOUTHERN LINCOLN...SOUTHEASTERN PERKINS...MUCH OF HAYES AND WESTERN FRONTIER COUNTIES. A SECOND AREA OF MODERATE DROUGHT WAS LOCATED IN PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN HOLT COUNTY. ELSEWHERE...ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING GENERALLY SOUTHEAST OF A LINE FROM ONEILL TO STAPLETON TO ARTHUR. 

THE LAST TIME AT LEAST SOME PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA WAS NOT IN SEVERE DROUGHT OR WORSE CONDITIONS WAS JUNE 12 2012.
 
 

CLIMATE SUMMARY
 
SUMMARY OF RECENT MONTHLY RAINFALL CONDITIONS FROM SELECTED STATIONS ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. THE SUMMARY INCLUDES THE PREVIOUS 12 MONTH PRECIPITATION TOTALS...JULY 2013 TO JUNE 2014...THE PREVIOUS 3 MONTH PRECIPITATION TOTALS...APRIL TO JUNE...AND THE PRECIPITATION TOTALS SO FAR IN JULY...THROUGH JULY 16.
 
  12 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES   3 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES
LOCATION  JUL-JUN NORMAL DEP   APR-JUN NORMAL DEP
NORTH PLATTE 26.70 20.23 +6.47   11.20 8.97 +5.33
VALENTINE 27.62 20.02 +7.60   14.69 8.91 +5.07
BROKEN BOW * 25.39 23.62 +1.77   10.05 10.49 +3.76
IMPERIAL * 18.24 19.14 -0.90   11.09 8.11 +3.88
* PRECIPITATION DATA INCLUDES A COMBINATION OF AUTOMATED SENSORS AND COOPERATIVE DATA.
 
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR THE LAST 3 MONTHS SAW A RANGE FROM ABOVE NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL.
 
  AVERAGE TEMPERATURE/DEGREE F
LOCATION      APR NORMAL DEP   MAY NORMAL  DEP   JUN NORMAL  DEP
NORTH PLATTE 48.0 47.6 +0.4   57.8 57.9 -0.1   67.8 67.9 -0.1
VALENTINE     47.2 46.7 +0.5   58.0 57.6 +0.4   66.6 67.5 -0.9
BROKEN BOW 47.5 47.8 -0.6   59.7 58.8 +0.9   69.5 68.5 +1.0
IMPERIAL  50.1 48.5 +1.6   59.6 59.8 -0.2   69.4 70.0 -0.6
 
SO FAR JULY RAINFALL AND DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL ARE AS FOLLOWS (THROUGH JULY 15).
 
  THROUGHT JULY 15 RAINFALL TOTALS & DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL
STATION PRECIPITATION DEPARTURE
NORTH PLATTE 0.11 -1.41
VALENTINE 0.44 -1.26
BROKEN BOW 1.38 -0.13
IMPERIAL 0.29 -1.24
 

RIVER AND RESERVOIR CONDITIONS
 
RIVERS ACROSS MOST OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA ARE RUNNING AT NEAR OR ABOVE NORMAL FLOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS OVER FAR SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...WHERE PORTIONS OF THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN CONTINUE TO FLOW BELOW NORMAL. THIS INCLUDES FRENCHMAN AND STINKING WATER CREEKS. 

WITH THE IRRIGATION SEASON ONGOING...GROUNDWATER DEPTHS ARE BEGINNING TO DROP. ASIDE FROM PORTIONS OF SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...DEPTHS REMAIN NEAR OR ABOVE NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. IN THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN IN SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...SOME WELLS AND SPRINGS CONTINUE TO MEASURE AT 10 TO 25 PERCENT OF NORMAL. 

THE ELEVATION AT LAKE MCCONAUGHY HAS STARTED TO DROP DUE TO INCREASED RELEASES FOR IRRIGATION PURPOSES...AND DECREASED INFLOWS. THE CURRENT LAKE LEVEL AS OF MID JULY IS AT 59 PERCENT OF CAPACITY. THIS IS 5 PERCENT LOWER THAN A MONTH AGO...HOWEVER IT REMAINS OVER 5 PERCENT HIGHER THAN WAS MEASURED ONE YEAR AGO.
 

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS
 
AS OF THE SECOND WEEK OF JULY...FULL GREEN-UP CONTINUES ACROSS ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. THUS GOING INTO MID TO LATE SUMMER...THE THREAT OF LARGE FIRE SPREAD WILL BE LOW.
 
BOTTOM LINE...GREEN-UP HAS DECREASED THE THREAT OF EXTREME FIRE GROWTH ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...BUT OUR NATIVE PLANT SPECIES ARE STILL SOMEWHAT STRESSED FROM PREVIOUS DROUGHT AND WILL QUICKLY CURE IF EARLY SUMMER RAINS DO NOT CONTINUE. 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT THE NORTH PLATTE NWS FIRE WEATHER WEB SITE PROVIDED BELOW...OR CONTACT THE NORTH PLATTE FIRE WEATHER FOCAL POINT /SHAWN JACOBS/ DIRECTLY.

HTTP://WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/LBF/FORECASTS/FIREWX/FIREWX.PHP
 

PRECIPITATION AND TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS
 
THE LATEST 6 TO 10 DAY OUTLOOK...COVERING JULY 22ND THROUGH JULY 26TH...CALLS FOR HIGH PROBABILITIES FOR ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES WITH BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION. THE LATEST 8 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK...COVERING JULY 24TH THROUGH JULY 30TH...INDICATES SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES CONTINUING ALONG WITH BELOW AVERAGE PRECIPITATION.
 
THE LATEST ONE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR AUGUST CALLS FOR EQUAL CHANCES FOR BELOW...AVERAGE AND ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES. FOR THE ONE MONTH PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK...THERE ARE EQUAL CHANCES FOR ABOVE...BELOW OR NEAR AVERAGE PRECIPITATION FOR MOST OF THE AREA...EXCEPT THE EASTERN PANHANDLE WHERE SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION EXISTS. THE LATEST THREE MONTH OUTLOOK COVERING AUGUST...SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER CALLS FOR BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. FOR PRECIPITATION...SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION IS FORECAST AGAIN FOR ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA.
 

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS
 
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

CHRIS BUTTLER
CLIMATE SERVICES FOCAL POINT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
NORTH PLATTE NE
CHRISTOPHER.BUTTLER@NOAA.GOV
 

RELATED WEB SITES
 
LOCAL WEATHER...CLIMATE AND WATER INFORMATION
HTTP://WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/LBF

ADDITIONAL RIVER AND RESERVOIR INFORMATION
USGS - HTTP://WATER.USGS.GOV
CNPPID - HTTP://WWW.CNPPID.COM/NEWS-INFO/RESERVOIRRIVER-DATA/

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

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

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
 
THE DROUGHT MONITOR IS A MULTI-AGENCY EFFORT INVOLVING THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA CENTER...THE USDA...STATE AND REGIONAL CENTER CLIMATOLOGISTS AND THE DROUGHT MITIGATION CENTER. INFORMATION FOR THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN GATHERED FROM NWS AND FAA OBSERVATION SITES...STATE COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICES...USGS...AND THE CENTRAL NEBRASKA PUBLIC POWER AND IRRIGATION DISTRICT.
 

NEXT ISSUANCE
 
THIS PRODUCT WILL BE ROUTINELY ISSUED ON THE THIRD THURSDAY OF THE MONTH UNLESS DROUGHT CONDITIONS RELAX OR INTENSIFY. THE NEXT ROUTINE ISSUANCE WILL BE AUGUST  21 2014...BUT MAY BE SOONER IF CONDITIONS CHANGE.
 

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