Drought Conditions Continue to Worsen Across the Sioux Empire

The start to 2015 has been a relatively quiet one when it comes to precipitation. Despite a much wetter month of April, many of us are still well below normal when it comes to rainfall since the start of the year. Since the start of the year, Sioux Falls has seen less than half (2.10”, normal 4.46”) of its normal precipitation since the start of the year, and April is already the second wettest month of the year, but we are still about inch below normal for the month.

The hardest area hit, or not hit depending how you take it, central South Dakota stretching east into Minnesota. This is the area where we have our largest rainfall deficits, which range from two to three inches below normal.

Due to the lack of rainfall to start the year we have seen several areas creep into a moderate drought. The image to the left is the drought monitor update from April 7th, last Tuesday, which has 42% of South Dakota in a moderate state of drought, while 92% of Minnesota is in a moderate drought. Just a week later, April 14th, this week’s update showed in that drought to 66% for South Dakota and 94% of Minnesota.

The good news is that this weekend we have a great chance to eat up a chunk of that drought, especially into southern South Dakota. A cut-off low pressure system will spin to our south, which will send moisture north into the Sioux Empire. Models right now are showing the potential for some spots to see ½ to an inch of rainfall by Sunday afternoon, with the heaviest coming late Saturday and overnight into Sunday. Below is a snapshot of where the heaviest rainfall will take place by early Saturday afternoon.

This is just a baby step in digging ourselves out of this drought, but it also puts us into the right direction, so just to be safe, keep doing those rain dances.