Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Rapid City, SD

Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary Off
Versions: 1 2 3

AXUS73 KUNR 081511

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Rapid City SD
811 AM MDT Thu Mar 8 2018

...Drought Conditions Continue Across the Northern High Plains...


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,
  most of Meade, eastern Pennington, western Haakon, northern
  Jackson, and far northern Oglala Lakota.
* Moderate (D1) drought in South Dakota covered the rest of Meade,
  Pennington, Oglala Lakota, Jackson, Haakon, Ziebach Counties, as
  well as Harding, eastern Butte, Custer, Fall River, and western
  Mellette Counties.
* Abnormally dry (D0) conditions covered Crook County 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 last summer.


In February, temperatures were well below average and precipitation
was above average. Average high temperatures in 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 March calls for below average
temperatures and near to 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, February end of month
reservoir elevations were above average at Angostura, Belle Fourche,
Deerfield, Keyhole, and Pactola while Shadehill Reservoir was below
average. February inflows into these reservoirs were mainly above
average, with the exceptions of inflows into Keyhole and Shadehill
which were below average.

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 April 2018, unless
conditions change sooner.



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...


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.