Drought Conditions See Slight Improvement in Western South Dakota

Aug 19, 2016

The drought monitor for August 18th shows adnormally dry to extreme drought areas across the state.
Credit droughtmonitor.unl.edu

 Rainfall in western South Dakota this past week is helping to improve drought conditions. Much of the western part of the state has been under serve drought throughout the summer. 

Drought conditions are still persisting in western South Dakota with some areas in extreme drought. Matthew Bunkers is with the National Weather Service in Rapid City. ​ He says recent rainfall is providing short term relief. 

“They’ve been spotty so not all places have received a lot of rain. And the rains have also been fairly heavy in places so there’s been a decent amount of runoff from that, it hasn’t really all really soaked in. There’s been a green up of the grasses, some of the larger trees are not really soaking in the rain when it’s really intense like that, and we also still have low stock ponds, reservoirs and stream flow in areas,” says Bunkers.

Bunkers says there’s chance for above average rainfall in the northwestern part of the state heading into this fall.

“We could even see a little bit enhanced rainfall and snowfall into this winter overs areas into Western South Dakota, Eastern Montana, Northeastern Wyoming, and Western North Dakota. So there’s definitely some hope that conditions will slightly improve,” says Bunkers.

The eastern half of the state is experiencing normal to slightly dry conditions with spots of moderate drought in the north central region.