U.S. Drought Portal


Southern Plains Drought Outlook Summary - November 20, 2014

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

Current drought conditions

Click below for detailed state drought information:

Current Drought

  • Parts of south and west TX and southern NM have seen much improvement since August.
  • Currently, extreme drought conditions (D3 or worse) cover about 22% of OK, 10% of TX, and 2% of NM.
  • 3 months ago, extreme drought conditions (D3 or worse) covered about 15% of OK, 15% of TX, and 7% of NM.

Current/Ongoing Drought Impacts

Oklahoma: Critical reservoirs in southwest OK such as Altus Lake are at less than 10% of capacity.
  • Statewide, Texas reservoirs remain 64% full. The lowest for this time of year since 1990. (source: TWDB)
  • The main reservoir which serves Wichita Falls is 19% full, an all-time low. The city continues re-use of wastewater for drinking. (source: wichitafallstx.gov)
New Mexico: 3 of the 4 largest reservoirs in NM are at 11% or less of storage capacity. The largest, Elephant Butte, is at 10% of capacity.





Drought Summary

  • Most of south and west Texas saw above normal rainfall in the fall bringing substantial improvement. Much of western and southern portions of Oklahoma and north central and northeast Texas were slightly drier than normal and have thus seen drought worsening.
  • Substantial drought improvement has occurred in the southern 1/3 of New Mexico.
  • Near 60% probability of El Nino conditions by 2015. This should result in increased chances for above normal precipitation across much of New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma into early 2015.

3-Month Outlook - Precipitation

  • The likelihood of El Nino conditions developing by 2015 is still high (~60%).
  • El Nino development favors some drought relief in the winter for TX and NM.
  • Above normal precipitation is favored this winter across nearly all three states.
    • Drought Outlook shows improvement for nearly all of TX and NM.

3-Month Outlook - Temperature

  • Below normal temperatures are favored this winter for all of TX and OK and most of NM .
  • Only extreme northwest NM has equal chances of above, below, or near normal temperatures.

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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