Recent rain for the Dakotas had little impact on drought

There's little vegetative growth on pastures in the Northern Plains.
There's little vegetative growth on pastures in the Northern Plains.
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Drought change mapDrought conditions eased across Texas, east-central Colorado and into western Nebraska over the past week, with some drought improvement also noted in western South Dakota and southern areas of North Dakota. “In the High Plains Region, a swath of 1.5 to 3 inches (locally more) of rain fell from western North Dakota southward to eastern Colorado and northwestern Kansas,” according to today’s Drought Summary.

But more improvement is clearly needed on the Northern Plains. All of North Dakota is impacted by abnormal dryness/drought, with 76.7% of the state affected by extreme (D3) or exceptional (D4) drought. Despite some areas of improvement over the past week, drought actually worsened as a whole across South Dakota, with 94.4% of the state dealing with some form of drought/dryness, up 1.2 points from the week prior.

“Reports indicate much of this week’s heavy rains was immediately absorbed by the severely dry soils, with no runoff into empty dugouts or ponds. However, in some locations, the rain fell so quickly that it did not allow time for infiltration into the topsoils, resulting in erosion of topsoils. Furthermore, high wind events have increased the potential for evaporative loss of this moisture from the topsoils,” today’s summary says.

Status quo persisted across the heart of the Corn Belt. Today’s update says rains favored the western half of the Midwest, with some areas receiving 2 or more inches of rain. But the best accumulation occurred in areas free of drought. Some spotty drought improvement was noted in southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin and far southern Iowa. There was some spotty drought degradation in the far eastern Corn Belt. 

Drought Monitor


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