Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Rapid City, SD

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000
AXUS73 KUNR 161547
DGTUNR

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE RAPID CITY SD
946 AM MDT Thu Mar 16 2017

...Drought Conditions Continue Across Portions of Western South
Dakota and Northeastern Wyoming...

SYNOPSIS...

Dry conditions so far this March have drought conditions continuing
across western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. Most of the
winter snowpack has melted with much of that moisture making its way
into the ground. However, warm conditions so far in March with
limited precipitation have caused drought conditions to remain
across the area.

At the beginning of March, Moderate (D1) drought conditions covered
Crook, Weston, and eastern Campbell counties in Wyoming. In western
South Dakota, Moderate (D1) drought conditions covered Butte,
Lawrence, most of Pennington, Custer, Fall River, Oglala Lakota,
southwestern Meade and southwestern Harding counties.

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions covered the rest of Campbell County
Wyoming, the rest of Harding, most of Perkins, eastern Meade,
western Jackson, western Haakon, and western Bennett counties in
South Dakota.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

* Soil moisture is beginning to recover in the top layers of the
  ground due to the recent snowmelt.
* Stock ponds and dugouts are still low, which continues to limit
  Water for cattle and other animals.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

Temperatures in February were above average across the entire area.
Precipitation amounts were slightly below average across the
northern sections and slightly above average south of a line from
Wright, WY to the central Black Hills, to Winner, SD. Overall, about
half of the days in February some form of precipitation fell, either
in the form of rain or snow. However, the precipitation amounts were
mostly light.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

Water temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean are around average,
indicating neutral conditions. The outlook for the spring and summer
is for neutral conditions to continue. Neutral conditions generally
bring a warmer and wetter pattern to the southern half of the United
States with a cold polar jet stream diving across Canada into the
northeastern United States. The northern plains will be in the
transition zone between the two air masses that would create varying
conditions for the northern plains.

The three month outlook for March, April, and May calls for a
somewhat increased chance for normal to slightly above normal
temperatures with odds favoring above average precipitation.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

Ice has begun to diminish from most creeks, streams, and rivers.
Some ice cover remains on lakes in northwestern South Dakota and in
the higher elevations of the Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains.
According to the Bureau of Reclamation, reservoir levels are
slightly above average for this time of the year with the exception
of Shadehill Reservoir, which is slightly below average.

NEXT ISSUANCE...

The next drought statement will be issued in April unless conditions
change sooner.

&&

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...

The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA`s
National Weather Service and 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.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

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
605-341-9271
melissa.smith@noaa.gov

RELATED WEB SITES...

U.S. Drought page...
http://www.drought.gov

South Dakota Climate and Weather Information...
http://climate.sdstate.edu/climate_site/climate.htm

Wyoming Water and Climate Information...
http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu/

U.S. Drought Monitor...
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

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...
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Black Hills Fire Restrictions...
http://blackhillsfirerestrictions.com

$$


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