Wichita Falls Drought Outlook and Assessment Forum
On June 24, NOAA, the Southern Climate Impacts and Planning Program (SCIPP), and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) convened a Drought Outlook and Assessment Forum in Wichita Falls, Texas. NCDC’s David Brown, the Southern Regional Climate Services Director, organized and facilitated the forum, which provided participants with an overview of the current drought situation in north and west Texas, with a focus on water resources. The forum provided 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, in addition to highlighting monitoring, planning, and financial resources available to assist those whose organization management is being impacted by the region’s drought.
More than 200 participants attended the forum, including representatives from city and county government; public and private water, agricultural, and economic development organizations; and emergency managers. Participants received information from scientists and experts on several key topics, including:
- the Wichita Falls area is now in its worst drought on record
- the strength of the potential El Niño event can strongly 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
NCDC, the National Weather Service Southern Region, and the National Integrated Drought Information System, along with their partners, continue to provide a range of climate services to those affected by the drought in Texas. The Southern Plains regional program on the Drought Portal, where information about future drought forums and other regional resources are available, highlights many of these efforts.
For links to downloadable speaker presentations and more information on the event, see Texas Drought Outlook Forum, Wichita Falls.