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Drought Conditions Continue For Winter And Spring

South Dakota Drought Conditions

Weather officials say drought conditions will continue for the state in the new year. Climatologist Beth Hall says the seasonal drought outlook may last to late March.

“This means that the soil moisture that’s already poor to very poor is likely to stay low heading into the spring.”

Hall says dryer conditions will persist in the southern half of the state. Some areas of the far northwest and northeast could be affected as well.

Weather officials say the drought comes from La Niña weather patterns created by below average ocean temperatures.

Hall says the Midwest will see temperatures fluctuate from now until the beginning of the spring.

“The short-term outlooks are showing high probabilities of above average temperatures. In fact, the confidence is so high across all the models that I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some records being broken.”

Hall says a moderately strong La Niña is likely to continue across the Northern Hemisphere this winter, with a 95 percent chance into next spring.

-Contact SDPB reporter John Nguyen by email.