Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Rapid City, SD

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AXUS73 KUNR 151710

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Rapid City SD
1010 AM MDT Thu Feb 15 2018

...Drought Conditions Continue Across Western South Dakota...


Since October 1 2017, precipitation has varied from near average
across northeastern Wyoming to below average over much of the
western and south central South Dakota plains. Across the Black
Hills, the northern half of the Black Hills has seen below average
precipitation, while the southern half of the Black Hills has
received above average precipitation. Temperatures have been near
average across the area since October 1.

Snow cover across the plains ranges from little to no snowpack
across southern portions of northeast Wyoming and parts of southwest
and south central South Dakota to six to twelve inches across far
northeast Wyoming and northwest South Dakota. Snow water equivalent
is one inch to around two inches across far northeast Wyoming and
northwest South Dakota. Across the Black Hills and Bear Lodge
Mountains, snowpack and snow water equivalent are near average for
this time of year. March and April are typically the two snowiest
months, when a third of the seasonal snowfall usually happens.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor depicts:

* Severe (D2) drought conditions covered Perkins, western Ziebach,
  eastern Butte, most of Meade, eastern Pennington, western Haakon,
  northern Jackson, northern Oglala Lakota, and far northeastern
  Fall River Counties.
* Moderate (D1) drought in South Dakota covered the rest of Butte,
  Meade, Pennington, Fall River, Oglala Lakota, Jackson, Haakon,
  Ziebach Counties, as well as Harding, Custer, eastern Lawrence,
  Bennett, western Todd, and western Mellette Counties. In
  northeastern Wyoming, Moderate (D1) drought conditions covered far
  northeastern Campbell and northern Crook Counties.
* Abnormally dry (D0) conditions covered the rest of Crook and
  northern Campbell Counties in northeastern Wyoming, as well as
  rest of western South Dakota.


Drought impacts continue to be reported by producers due to dry
soils. Stock ponds and dugouts are dry or contain water of poor
quality. Numerous pasture and hay lands have not been able to
recover from the dry conditions over the summer.


So far in February, temperatures have been well below average and
precipitation has been above average. Average high temperatures for
February range from the lower 30s in northwestern South Dakota to
the lower 40s across southwestern South Dakota. Average lows range
from the lower teens across northwest South Dakota to near 20 across
southwest South Dakota. Average precipitation typically ranges from
a quarter to a half inch on the plains to an inch and a half over
the northern Black Hills.


Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean are below
average, indicating La Nina conditions. The outlook for the spring
and summer is for La Nina conditions to trend toward El Nino
Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions. For the Northern
Plains, this pattern typically favors near average temperatures and
precipitation through the spring.

The outlook for the rest of February shows below average
temperatures and above average precipitation. The three month
outlook for March, April, and May calls for near to below average
temperatures and near average precipitation

The U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook indicates drought conditions will
persist through early spring.


According to the Bureau of Reclamation, January end of month
reservoir elevations were above average at Angostura, Belle Fourche,
Deerfield, Keyhole, and Pactola while Shadehill Reservoir was below
average. January inflows into these reservoirs were mainly above
average, with the exceptions of inflows into Keyhole and Shadehill
which were below average. The January inflow into Shadehill
Reservoir was the lowest on record.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey 28-day average streamflow
compared to historical streamflow for the day of the year indicates
normal conditions across much of the area.


The next drought statement will be issued in March 2018.



The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA`s
National Weather Service and the National Centers for Environmental
Information, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), State
and Regional Climate Centers, and the National Drought Mitigation
Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Information for this
statement has been gathered from the NWS and Federal Aviation
Administration observing sites, State Cooperative Extension
Services, United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of
Reclamation, and the United States Geological Survey.


If you have any questions or comments about this drought
information, please contact...

Melissa Smith
Service Hydrologist
National Weather Service
300 East Signal Drive
Rapid City South Dakota 57701


U.S. Drought page...

South Dakota Climate and Weather Information...

Wyoming Water and Climate Information...

U.S. Drought Monitor...

River and Reservoir Information
NWS - http://water.weather.gov/ahps
USGS - http://www.usgs.gov/water
USBR - http://www.usbr.gov/gp/lakes_reservoirs

Climate Prediction Center...

Black Hills Fire Restrictions...


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