Event Date & Time
On June 24, 2014, David Brown, the Southern Regional Climate Services Director, part of the National Climatic Data Center, facilitated a Drought Outlook and Assessment Forum in Wichita Falls, Texas. Key points from scientists and experts included:
- the Wichita Falls area is now in its worst drought on record
- the strength of the potential El Niño event can influence the amount of fall and winter rainfall in the region
- state and local organizations such as SCIPP and TWDB maintain a wide range of information and resources for individuals, businesses, and communities to help them cope with the impacts of drought
Presentations included an overview of the current drought situation in north and west Texas, with a focus on water resources; an overview of weather and climate forecasts and outlooks for the rest of 2014 and early 2015, with an emphasis on the potential impacts of the emerging El Niño event; and highlights of monitoring, planning, and financial resources available to assist those whose organization management is being impacted by the region’s drought. Links to presentations from the forum are below.
More than 200 participants attended, including representatives from city and county government; public and private water, agricultural, and economic development organizations; and emergency managers.
Organizers included NOAA and NIDIS, the Southern Climate Impacts and Planning Program (SCIPP), the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), and the National Weather Service's Southern Region Headquarters. These organizations provide a range of climate services to those affected by the drought in Texas. The Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System highlights many of these efforts.
- Wichita Falls Drought Forum Summary – NOAA National Weather Service
- Drought and Drought History in the Wichita Falls Area – John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas State Climatologist, Texas A&M University
- Water Resources in the Wichita Falls Area – Sam Hermitte, Texas Water Development Board
- Precipitation Forecast and Outlook into 2015 – Klaus Wolter, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory
- The U.S. Drought Monitor and Drought Risk Atlas – Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center
- Drought Planning – Mark Shafer, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program
- Texas Water Development Board Financial Assistance Programs – Brenner Brown, Manager, Brazos Region, Texas Water Development Board
- Texas Water Infrastructure Coordination Committee: Financial Resources – Mark Pearson, Community Research Group