North Platte Drought Information Statement

DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUE ACROSS MOST OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA

 
SYNOPSIS


A CONTINUATION OF THE WEATHER PATTERN THAT WAS IN PLACE THROUGHOUT THE WINTER WAS THE STORY FOR MID MARCH THROUGH MID APRIL AS WELL. WHILE SEVERAL SYSTEMS MOVED FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST ACROSS WESTERN AND  NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA THROUGH THAT TIME...MOST OF THESE EVENTS PRODUCED ONLY LIGHT PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS.  THERE WERE A FEW EXCEPTIONS TO THIS PATTERN...AND IN A COUPLE OF CASES...LOCALIZED HEAVY SNOW BANDS DEVELOPED  THAT PRODUCED SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW AND ROAD CLOSURES. HOWEVER...AS THE AREA HEADS INTO THE TIME OF  YEAR WHEN MORE PRECIPITATION IS TYPICAL...MOST AREAS HAVE RECEIVED LESS THAN AVERAGE PRECIPITATION FROM MID MARCH  THROUGH MID APRIL. ALSO...THE COLD NORTHERLY FLOW THAT WAS IN PLACE FOR MUCH OF THE PERIOD PRODUCED COLDER  THAN AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IS WELL.


LOCAL AREAS AFFECTED

AS OF APRIL 17...ACCORDING TO THE US DROUGHT MONITOR...SEVERE TO EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING ROUGHLY SOUTH OF A LINE FROM ERICSON...TO 10 MILES NORTH OF THEDFORD...TO 10 MILES SOUTH OF ANTIOCH. NORTH OF THIS LINE...TO THE SOUTH DAKOTA BORDER...ABNORMALLY DRY TO MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE OCCURRING. ACROSS
SOUTHWESTERN LINCOLN...SOUTHEASTERN PERKINS...EASTERN CHASE...NORTHERN HAYES AND WESTERN FRONTIER COUNTY...EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUED.



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...APRIL 2013 TO MARCH 2014...THE PREVIOUS 6 MONTH PRECIPITATION TOTALS...OCTOBER 2013 TO MARCH 2014...THE PREVIOUS 3 MONTH PRECIPITATION TOTALS...JANUARY TO MARCH...AND THE PRECIPITATION TOTALS SO FAR IN APRIL...THROUGH APRIL 16.

  12 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES   3 MONTH PRECIP/INCHES
LOCATION  APR-MAR NORMAL DEP   JAN-MAR NORMAL DEP
NORTH PLATTE 21.84 20.23 +1.61   1.84 1.89 -0.05
VALENTINE 21.98 20.02 +1.96   1.15 1.81 -0.66
BROKEN BOW * 24.96 23.62 +1.34   0.75 2.41 -1.66
IMPERIAL * 12.93 19.14 -6.21   1.06 1.75 -0.69
* PRECIPITATION DATA INCLUDES A COMBINATION OF AUTOMATED SENSORS AND COOPERATIVE DATA.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR THE LAST 3 MONTHS WERE BELOW NORMAL TO MUCH BELOW NORMAL.

  AVERAGE TEMPERATURE/DEGREE F
LOCATION      JAN NORMAL DEP   FEB NORMAL  DEP   MAR NORMAL  DEP
NORTH PLATTE 26.2 25.0 +1.2   20.3 29.0 -8.7   36.6 38.0 -1.4
VALENTINE     25.8 23.6 +2.2   19.2 27.2 -8.0   33.5 36.2 -2.7
BROKEN BOW 24.7 25.5 -0.8   20.7 28.0 -7.3   34.8 37.7 -2.9
IMPERIAL  29.5 28.3 +1.2   21.8 31.5 -9.7   39.8 39.8 0.0

THROUGH APRIL 16TH RAINFALL AND DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL ARE AS FOLLOWS.

  MARCH RAINFALL TOTALS & DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL
(THROUGH THE 16TH)
STATION PRECIPITATION DEPARTURE
NORTH PLATTE 0.14 -0.90
VALENTINE 0.44 -0.57
BROKEN BOW 0.61 -0.60
IMPERIAL 0.13 -0.78


RIVER AND RESERVOIR CONDITIONS

WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN...RIVERS ACROSS MOST OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA ARE RUNNING AT NEAR OR ABOVE NORMAL FLOWS FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR. THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN CONTINUES TO HAVE READINGS BETWEEN 10 AND 50 PERCENT.
 
THERE ARE AREAS THAT CONTINUE TO SEE BELOW NORMAL GROUNDWATER DEPTHS...HOWEVER RECENT OBSERVATIONS ACROSS MUCH OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA SHOW READINGS NEAR NORMAL. PORTIONS OF THE SANDHILLS EVEN HAD SOME PLACES WITH DEPTHS ABOVE NORMAL. HOWEVER...SOUTHWEST NEBRASKA CONTINUES TO HAVE AREAS WITH WELL BELOW NORMAL GROUND WATER DEPTHS. THESE AREAS ARE SEEING LEVELS BELOW 25 PERCENT OF NORMAL...AND GENERALLY LIE IN THE REPUBLICAN RIVER BASIN.
 
THE ELEVATION AT LAKE MCCONAUGHY HAS STAYED FAIRLY STEADY OVER THE PAST MONTH. INFLOWS HAVE INCREASED AS THE SPRING SNOWMELT HAS BEGUN...YET RELEASES HAVE ALSO BEGUN. INFLOWS AND OUTFLOWS HAVE BEEN FAIRLY SIMILAR LEADING TO THE STEADY STATE OF THE ELEVATION. AT THE SOURCE REGION OF THE NORTH AND SOUTH PLATTE RIVERS...SNOWPACK IN THE MOUNTAINS IS ABOVE NORMAL...AT 125 TO 170 PERCENT OF NORMAL. THIS WILL LEAD TO ABOVE NORMAL SNOWMELT INFLOWS INTO BOTH THE NORTH PLATTE AND SOUTH PLATTE RIVER SYSTEMS THIS SPRING AND SUMMER.

 _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

FIRE DANGER IMPACTS

PRECIPITATION REMAINS WELL BELOW NORMAL FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR...THUS VERY LITTLE GREEN-UP HAS OCCURRED AS OF THE THIRD WEEK OF APRIL. FIRE AND LAND MANAGEMENT AGENCIES CONTINUE TO REPORT THAT AREA 1 HOUR FUELS ARE CURED AND WOULD BE THE PRIMARY CARRIER OF FIRE. HIGHER SUN ANGLES AND WARMER TEMPERATURES OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS HAVE DRIED OUT 1 HOUR FUELS TO THE POINT WHERE THE POTENTIAL FOR RAPID FIRE GROWTH CONTINUES TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY.
 
THE RECENT SYNOPTIC WEATHER PATTERN HAS FAVORED EPISODIC PERIODS OF EXTREMELY DRY AIR WHEN WIND SPEEDS HAVE GUSTED IN EXCESS OF 25 MPH...THIS COMBINATION COMBINED WITH THE CURED FUELS HAS ALLOWED FOR NUMEROUS LARGE RANGE FIRES.
 
BOTTOM LINE...UNTIL GREEN-UP CAN FULLY COMMENCE ACROSS WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA...EXPLOSIVE FIRE GROWTH WILL REMAIN CERTAIN DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF DRY FUELS...GUSTY WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITIES. 
 
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

ACCORDING TO THE CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...THE LATEST 6 TO 10 DAY OUTLOOK COVERING APRIL 22ND THROUGH THE 26TH IS FOR ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES ACROSS ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA. THE OUTLOOK FOR PRECIPITATION OVER THAT SAME PERIOD IS FOR NEAR AVERAGE PRECIPITATION ACROSS SOUTHWEST AND THE WESTERN SANDHILLS REGION...ELSEWHERE ABOVE AVERAGE PRECIPITATION IS ANTICIPATED.
 
THE 8 TO 14 DAY OUTLOOK COVERING THE PERIOD FROM APRIL 24TH THROUGH APRIL 30TH IS FOR ABOVE AVERAGE TEMPERATURES FOR THE ENTIRE AREA. FOR PRECIPITATION FOR THE SAME PERIOD...NEAR AVERAGE PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED ALL OF WESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEBRASKA.
 
THE LATEST 30 DAY OUTLOOK COVERING THE MONTH OF MAY CALLS FOR EQUAL CHANCES FOR ABOVE...BELOW OR NEAR AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION. THE LATEST 90 DAY OUTLOOK...COVERING MAY...JUNE AND JULY...ALSO SHOWS EQUAL CHANCES FOR ABOVE...BELOW...OR NEAR AVERAGE TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION. 


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://CNPPID.COM/LAKE_LEVELS.HTM

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

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 MAY 15  2014...BUT MAY BE SOONER IF CONDITIONS CHANGE.
 


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