North Platte Drought Information Statement
MODERATE DROUGHT AREA SHRINKS SLIGHTLY
ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA OVER THE PAST MONTH
 
SYNOPSIS
 
PERSISTENT RIDGING ACROSS THE WESTERN PORTION OF THE COUNTRY...HIGHLIGHTED THE WEATHER PATTERN DURING THE LATTER HALF OF JULY INTO THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST. THIS LED TO MUCH BELOW NORMAL RAINFALL FOR THE MONTH OF JULY. NORTH PLATTE RECORDED ITS DRIEST JULY ON RECORD WITH 0.14 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION. VALENTINE ONLY RECORDED 0.58 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION FOR JULY WHICH WAS 2.63 INCHES BELOW NORMAL. BY THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST...THE UPPER LEVEL PATTERN BEGIN TO SHIFT SLIGHTLY AS AN ACTIVE NORTHERN STREAM COMMENCED ACROSS THE NORTHERN TIER OF STATES. THIS FLOW ALOFT...SUPPRESSED RIDGING ACROSS THE WESTERN PART OF THE COUNTRY...LEADING TO A MORE ACTIVE PATTERN ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. THIS ACTIVE PATTERN HAS LED TO NORMAL TO ABOVE NORMAL RAINFALL ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA DURING THE SECOND WEEK OF AUGUST. OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE INTER MOUNTAIN WEST. THIS PATTERN TYPICALLY LEADS TO ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA.
 

LOCAL AREAS AFFECTED
 
AS OF AUGUST 21ST ACCORDING TO THE US DROUGHT MONITOR...MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING IN PORTIONS OF SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...MAINLY SOUTHERN LINCOLN AND MOST OF HAYES AND FRONTIER COUNTIES. OTHERWISE ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING SOUTH OF A LINE FROM OGALLALA TO MULLEN TO BROKEN BOW.
 
 

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...AUGUST 2013 TO JULY 2014 AND THE PREVIOUS 3 MONTH PRECIPITATION TOTALS...MAY TO JULY.
 
  12 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES   3 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES
LOCATION  AUG-JUL NORMAL DEP   MAY-JUL NORMAL DEP
NORTH PLATTE 24.10 20.23 +3.87   10.70 9.77 +0.93
VALENTINE 24.42 20.02 +4.40   12.22 9.90 +2.32
BROKEN BOW * 23.08 23.62 -0.54   10.14 10.85 -0.71
IMPERIAL * 17.84 19.14 -1.30   11.70 9.03 +2.67
* PRECIPITATION DATA INCLUDES A COMBINATION OF AUTOMATED SENSORS AND COOPERATIVE DATA.
 
SO FAR AUGUST RAINFALL AND DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL ARE AS FOLLOWS (THROUGH AUGUST 20).
 
  THROUGH AUGUST 20 RAINFALL TOTALS & DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL
STATION PRECIPITATION DEPARTURE
NORTH PLATTE 2.52 +0.84
VALENTINE 1.55 -0.05
BROKEN BOW 1.36 -0.18
IMPERIAL 1.01 -0.68
 
AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR THE LAST 3 MONTHS SAW A RANGE FROM ABOVE NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL.
 
  AVERAGE TEMPERATURE/DEGREE F
LOCATION      MAY NORMAL DEP   JUN NORMAL  DEP   JUL NORMAL  DEP
NORTH PLATTE 57.8 57.9 -0.1   67.8 67.9 -0.1   71.8 74.3 -2.5
VALENTINE     58.0 57.6 +0.4   66.6 67.5 -0.9   71.6 74.5 -2.9
BROKEN BOW 59.7 58.8 +0.9   69.5 68.5 +1.0   71.4 74.1 -2.7
IMPERIAL  59.6 59.8 -0.2   69.4 70.0 -0.6   74.4 76.4 -2.0
 

RIVER AND RESERVOIR CONDITIONS
 
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN ACROSS SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...RIVERS ACROSS MOST OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA ARE RUNNING AT NEAR OR ABOVE NORMAL FLOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. ACROSS THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN...STREAMFLOWS ARE AVERAGING 10 TO 24 PERCENT BELOW NORMAL. THIS BASIN INCLUDES FRENCHMAN AND STINKING WATER CREEKS IN THE LOCAL AREA.

WITH THE GROWING/IRRIGATION SEASON ONGOING...GROUNDWATER DEPTHS HAVE DROPPED OVER THE LAST 30 DAYS. IN THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN ACROSS SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA...SOME WELLS AND SPRINGS WERE MEASURING AT 10 TO 25 PERCENT OF NORMAL. MUCH OF THE REMAINDER OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA CONTINUES TO SEE GROUNDWATER DEPTHS NEAR NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR.

GENERALLY DRY CONDITIONS OVER THE PAST MONTH HAVE BROUGHT AN INCREASE IN IRRIGATION DEMANDS. THE HIGHER DEMAND HAS LED TO INCREASED OUTFLOWS FROM LAKE MCCONAUGHY. IN ADDITION...INFLOWS INTO THE LAKE HAVE DROPPED DUE TO A LACK IN SURFACE RUNOFF ALONG WITH LESSER AMOUNTS COMING THROUGH THE SYSTEM FROM THE RESERVOIR SYSTEM OVER WYOMING. THIS HAS LED TO A DECREASE IN THE LAKE LEVEL AS OF LATE AUGUST...WITH A DROP OF JUST OVER 4 FEET IN THE PAST MONTH. IT IS CURRENTLY AT 59 PERCENT OF CAPACITY WHICH IS 5 PERCENT LOWER THAN A MONTH AGO. ALSO OF NOTE...THE LAKE LEVEL IS ABOUT 11 PERCENT HIGHER THAN WAS MEASURED ONE YEAR AGO.
 

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS
 
AS OF THE SECOND WEEK OF AUGUST...THE NATIVE 1-HOUR FUELS ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF CURING ACROSS ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. INVASIVE 1 HOUR FUELS...SUCH AS CHEAT GRASS...HAVE CURED AND ARE PRIME FOR CONSUMPTION. THE WET SPRING HAS ALLOWED FOR ABUNDANT FUELS ACROSS THE REGION...AND ONCE THESE FUELS CURE COMPLETELY...THE THREAT OF EXTREME FIRE GROWTH WILL INCREASE GREATLY. THIS TYPICALLY OCCURS BY LATE SUMMER.

SEVERAL SMALL FIRES /LESS THAN 300 ACRES/ HAVE BEEN NOTED RECENTLY ACROSS THE SANDHILLS REGION OF NEBRASKA. THE SPREAD OF THESE FIRES HAS BEEN SLOWED BY AN ABUNDANCE OF LOWER BOUNDARY LAYER MOISTURE.

BOTTOM LINE...CONTINUED CURING OF THE FINE FUELS /1-HOUR/ WILL INCREASE THE THREAT OF EXTREME FIRE GROWTH ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA INTO EARLY FALL...PROVIDED THAT ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS FAVOR GUSTY WIND AND DRY BOUNDARY LAYER MOISTURE. 

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 THE PERIOD FROM AUGUST 28TH THROUGH THE 30TH CALLS FOR BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ACROSS ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...WITH THE BEST CHANCE FROM OSHKOSH TO ONEILL. THERE ARE BETTER CHANCES FOR ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION AS WELL DURING THAT PERIOD ACROSS THE AREA.

THE LATEST 8 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK...COVERING AUGUST 28TH THROUGH SEPTEMBER 3RD...CONTINUES THE BETTER CHANCES FOR BELOW AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE AREA. FOR PRECIPITATION FOR THE SAME PERIOD...THERE IS A SLIGHTLY BETTER CHANCE FOR ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION EAST OF THE PANHANDLE.
 
THE LATEST ONE MONTH OUTLOOK FOR SEPTEMBER CALLS FOR EQUAL CHANCES FOR BELOW...AVERAGE AND ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. FOR PRECIPITATION FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER...THERE IS A BETTER CHANCE FOR ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION ACROSS ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...ESPECIALLY ALONG AND SOUTH OF THE INTERSTATE 80 CORRIDOR.
 

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 SEPTEMBER 18 2014...BUT MAY BE SOONER IF CONDITIONS CHANGE.
 

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