Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Rapid City, SD

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AXUS73 KUNR 151735

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Rapid City SD
1135 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

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


During the Fall of 2017, precipitation was below average and
temperatures were above average across northeast Wyoming and western
South Dakota. However, since December 1 most areas have seen above
average precipitation and below average temperatures.

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.

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. In fact, it was one of the coldest, wettest, and
snowiest Februarys` on record for most locations. So far in March,
temperatures have been well below average and precipitation has been
above average. Average high temperatures for March are in the lower
to middle 40s with average lows around 20. Average precipitation
typically ranges from around an inch on the plains to around two
inches in the 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 below average temperatures and
above average precipitation through the early spring.

The outlook for April shows below average temperatures and above
average precipitation. .

The three month outlook for April, May, and June calls colder and
wetter than average conditions in April trending toward warmer and
drier conditions by June.

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, and Keyhole, while Pactola was near average and Shadehill
Reservoir was 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...


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