A very dry summer across the area

The drought of 2012 has affected much of the Great Plains including southern South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and southwestern Minnesota.  While everyone had well below normal precipitation for the meteorological summer (June - August), a few locations in South Dakota and Nebraska had the driest summer on record.  Looking at 7 locations across the area, all but Huron had one the 10 driest summers recorded. Sioux Falls, Yankton and Wakefield, Nebraska each had their driest summer on record, with precipitation from 7 to 9 inches below normal.  Sanborn, Iowa; Sioux City and Brookings, while not the driest on record, were still 5 to 7 inches below normal for the summer.  Recall that only 2 years ago, during the summer of 2010, most areas had the wettest summer on record with many locations receiving over 20 inches of rain from June through August.

Below is a table showing the rainfall from June through August for 2012, a comparison to normal rainfall for this period, and to what occurred in June through August 2010.  The driest and wettest years on record (prior to 2012) are also listed.

Summer rainfall
Location Actual
2012
2012
Rank
Normal Deficit Driest on
Record
Year

Actual
2010

Wettest
on Record
Year
Yankton, South Dakota 1.76 1 10.01 -8.25 2.79 1970 20.30 20.30 2010
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 2.73 1 10.06 -7.33 3.55 1894 22.64 22.64 2010
Wakefield, Nebraska 2.85 1 11.10 -8.25 4.07 1976 19.70 23.35 1923
Sioux City, Iowa 4.65 2 10.56 -5.91 2.55 1976 20.13 20.13 2010
Sanborn, Iowa 4.92 2 11.64 -6.72 3.89 1970 26.44 26.44 2010
Brookings, South Dakota 5.30 Tied 6 10.62 -5.32 2.12 1894 21.51 21.51 2010
Huron, South Dakota 5.53 21 9.28 -3.75 3.07 1894 15.55 16.85 1984



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.