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Drought Persists Despite Rainfall



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July ended as the warmest month on record for the contiguous United States. The hot temperatures and dry weather catapulted the region into an extreme drought but with cooler temperatures and rainfall during the first week of August extreme drought conditions still persist.
Showers and thunderstorms during the first two weeks of August have brought helpful rainfall to the region. Wednesday morning thunderstorms developed south of Aberdeen and moved southeast dropping some pretty good rainfall amounts in Huron, Brookings and Sioux Falls.



Wednesday's rain totals added to previous rain totals from earlier in the month. These totals are already much better than July with many areas like Sioux Falls only seeing a little less than a quarter of an inch in the entire month of July.



But despite the fact that we are improving slightly in rainfall totals, we are still incredibly below average in many areas. For example Sioux Falls is still more than six inches below average for Summer rainfall. Watertown like last week is still doing particularily well. Notice that even though we have started getting rain the entire area still remains well below average.



With the entire region still dealing with below average rainfall it really came as no surprise when the drought monitor for this week was released that it stayed very similar to last weeks.



The entire state of South Dakota still remains in dry conditions. Moderate drought areas stayed the same this week while there was very minor improvements in the severe and extreme drought areas. Over 60 percent of the entire state still remains in a severe drought. But it all isn't entirely bad news, this week was the first week in three months that drought conditions did not get worse in the state. With more rain in the forecast this weekend, we are optimistic that next weeks drought monitor will remain the same if not improve slightly.



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