Much Needed Rain On The Way, Help Dry Conditions

Over 80% of SD Abnormally Dry, 88% of MN in Drought

It was a mild winter, much of the snow that we did receive quickly melted due to above normal temperatures. Now that we are starting off the spring, the upcoming growing season is upon us and, unfortunately, most of South Dakota and Minnesota is suffering from either abnormally dry conditions or a moderate drought. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a low pressure system that will bring us some much needed rain.

Over 80% of South Dakota is under abnormally dry conditions, while nearly 10% has been suffering from a moderate drought since the start of 2015. In Minnesota, it’s a similar story except the percent of Minnesota that is suffering from a moderate drought jumped from almost 6% to 88% in the matter of a week. While it’s still early in spring so there still is hope, the dry conditions are not good for the upcoming growing season.

Thankfully, there is some relief on the horizon. Starting Monday, a low pressure system will develop to our west. As it begins to develop, the jet stream is angled so that moisture out of the south Pacific will move, or advect, northward. The KDLT viewing area will begin to see this Monday late afternoon/evening, especially along the Missouri River Valley as clouds increase and maybe a light sprinkle develops.
The low will continue eastward and eventually turn more north, meaning more moisture will be pulled northward during the day on Tuesday. In fact, a half an inch or more precipitable water will be over South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota during the day on Tuesday which developing showers can capitalize on. The rain will start as early as Monday night and continue through late Tuesday night. Some of that rain may mix with some snow flakes, again, a quick following cold front moves through the state as well.

By the end of the day Tuesday, as stated above, some places could pick up as much as an inch of total precipitation according to one model. Since it’s still a couple days out, there’s still room for the total to change but any rain or rain/snow will be greatly appreciated. As Wednesday continues we’ll start to dry out, cool off and open the skies before next weekend.