U.S. Drought Portal

www.drought.gov

Southern Plains Drought Outlook Summary - May 21, 2015

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

Current drought conditions

Click below for detailed state drought information:

Current Drought

  • 70% of TX is now completely drought free.
  • Significant drought improvement has taken place across all of TX, NM, and OK.
  • TX and OK both have no areas of extreme (D3) drought for the first time since 11/23/10 and 3/8/11 respectively. NM achieved this in March 2015.

Current/Ongoing Drought Impacts

Reservoir conditions have improved dramatically across TX and OK.
Oklahoma: Nearly all reservoirs across the eastern ½ of OK are at or above full pool.
 
Texas:  Statewide, TX reservoir levels have increased to 79% full from 62% full 6 months ago. An increase of over 3.3 trillion gallons!
 

 

 

 

 

Drought Summary

  • El Nino has arrived! Warm sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean in place since the fall of 2014 have an 80% chance of continuing through 2015. Based on this El Nino feature and its connection to Southern Plains weather, the most recent seasonal outlook through August 2015 favors above normal rain chances for all of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and all but south Texas. With June being one of the wetter months in OK and TX, above normal rains in June will likely end this 5 year drought. Similarly, above average monsoonal rains in NM in July and August will likely end their 5 year drought.
 

3-Month Outlook - Precipitation

  • Above normal rainfall is favored through August across nearly all 3 states. The only exception is deep south TX, where equal chances of above or below normal are forecast.
  • The latest Drought Outlook shows drought conditions improving or ending through August across all of the region.
 

3-Month Outlook - Temperature

  • Below normal temperatures are favored through August for nearly the entire region, with the only exception being the western 1/3 of NM.
  • Should the above normal rainfall persist through summer, the 2010-2015 drought will likely be over.

Additional Information

 

Southern Plains Extra Information Slide

 

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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