U.S. Drought Portal


Southern Plains Drought Oulook Summary - July 17, 2014

Text dated monthly, on date above. Images and statistics update more frequently.

Current Drought

  • Severe drought conditions (D2 or worse) now cover more than 35% of TX, more than 60% of OK, and more than 75% of NM.
  • The likelihood of El Nino conditions developing by winter remains near 80%.
  • El Nino development would have limited drought impacts through the summer but likely drought relief in the fall/winter for much of NM and TX.
Region None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4

Current/Ongoing Drought Impacts

Oklahoma: OK wheat production is estimated at 51 million bushels, the lowest since 1957. 
Texas: Statewide, Texas reservoirs remain 67% full, slightly more than 2013 levels. 
  • Reservoirs which serve Wichita Falls TX remain at all-time lows of 23% full, and the city has enacted re-use of wastewater for drinking. 
New Mexico:3 of the 4 largest reservoirs in NM are at 11% or less of storage capacity. The largest, Elephant Butte, is at 9% of capacity.

Southern Plains Drought Outlook


Drought Summary

  • Many areas in Texas, Oklahoma, and eastern New Mexico have seen short term drought relief during the past month ; Other areas (W TX, N Cntrl TX/S Cntrl OK, S TX) have not been as fortunate.
  • 2 of the wettest months (Aug/Sep) upcoming for New Mexico. This, along with a wetter than normal monsoon expected, leading to potential drought improvement for New Mexico.
  • 80% probability of El Nino conditions by the end of the year. This should result in above normal chances for wetness across much of New Mexico and Texas during late 2014/early 2015.

3-Month Outlook - Precipitation

  • August is the wettest month of the year in NM.
  • Aug/Sep are two of the drier months for TX and OK.
  • Increased chances for above normal rainfall across all of NM and OK and west TX. As per the US Drought Outlook, drought improvement likely across NM, west TX, and northern OK.
  • Increased chances for below normal rain for the TX coast.

3-Month Outlook - Temperature

  • Increased chances for above normal temperatures for south and southeast Texas.
  • Wetter than normal conditions lead to cooler than normal temperatures for most of NM.
  • Increased evaporation of any rain that does fall is likely with higher temperatures … further exacerbating surface reservoir water deficits.

Additional Information


The Southern Plains Drought Outlook narrative is provided by the NWS Southern Region Headquarters (SRH) Regional Operations Center (ROC).  The SRH ROC is one of the NOAA Weather Ready Nation Pilot Projects and a primary objective of the SRH ROC Pilot is to provide weather, water, and climate Decision Support Services to regional scale partners.

NWS Southern Region Headquarters
Regional Operations Center
819 Taylor St
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Email: sr-srh.roc@noaa.gov
Phone: (817) 978-1100 ext 147



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