Slight Drought Improvement This Week

More Drought Relief In Sight!
August 1, 2017 Drought Monitor Report

This summer has been a rough one for farmers across the Rushmore State as drought has ramped up during the hottest months of the year. Week after week we have seen drought continue to expand and worsen across our area, but for the second week in a row, our drought conditions have stalled or slightly improved. 635,665 people are still affected by drought in this week’s report, as  97% of the state of South Dakota is abnormally dry. That is actually an improvement from 100% over the last two weeks. In the table shown, you can see how each category breaks down and where each drought relates to last week.

The yellow category represents “abnormally dry” conditions, which actually isn’t an official state of drought. Tan signifies moderate drought conditions, while orange is severe drought. Red represents extreme drought, while brick red is the highest state of drought, exceptional. Thankfully, none of the state is experiencing exceptional drought. Below is how this week compares to last week’s report.

U.S. Drought Monitor Comparison

While this week’s update didn’t show much relief, there are signs that we will see even more improvement in next week’s report. The U.S. Drought Monitor update is released every Thursday morning at 7:30 CST, based on data through 7 a.m. CDT the previous Tuesday. That means that none of the rain that fell since Tuesday morning was included in this week’s report. As seen in the photo below, we have seen some nice rainfall along the Missouri River and into southeastern South Dakota since Tuesday morning.

Rainfall Since 7 a.m. Tuesday

Another sign that we might see some improvement in next week’s report is that we have more rain on the way for the weekend! It is looking very likely that we will some widespread rainfall move across the state, with the potential of dumping some heavy rain across the area both Saturday and Sunday. Below is a look at what a couple of weather models are thinking for this weekend. One thing to note, the RPM model only forecasts out 48 hours, and does not include the entire weekend in its forecast.   While the report may not have shown much improvement, there is still some optimism moving forward. This weekend should be a nice step forward into our drought relief, but there is still a ways to go!

Brandon Spinner
Chief Meteorologist
Twitter: @wxSpinner89
Facebook: Meteorologist Brandon Spinner