Drought Conditions Continue Across Western South Dakota and Northeastern Wyoming

Updated on Thursday, January 18, 2007
Next Scheduled Update by Friday, February 23, 2007


Dry weather persisted over western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming from December 22 through 26. A powerful storm moved through the southern plains December 28 through 31, bringing 0.25 to 0.50 inches of precipitation to south central and southwestern South Dakota. The rest of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming saw little or no snow. During the first half of January precipitation was slightly below normal on the plains of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming where 0.05 to 0.10 inches of precipitation fell. Precipitation was slightly above normal in the northern Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains where 0.75 to 1.00 inches of precipitation was received.

Local Area Affected

Drought conditions as of January 18, extreme /D3/ drought conditions stretched across northeastern Wyoming into the northwestern corner of South Dakota and into the southwestern corner of South Dakota. Severe /D2/ Drought Conditions exist over the rest of the area due to long term moisture deficits and low reservoir levels. Specific smaller areas (below the resolution of the national DM product) have been wetter than average including Deadwood 2NE and Lead, which have been over 6 inches above normal during the past 2 years. 

Climate Summary

Temperatures in December were 3 to 6 degrees above normal across northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota. Precipitation during December varied across the area. Less than 25 percent of normal precipitation was received over northeast Wyoming and northwestern South Dakota, including the Black Hills. Normal precipitation fell eastward of a Hot Springs to Kadoka line. In south central South Dakota, precipitation was 0.25 to 0.75 inches above normal.

River and Reservoir Conditions

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), streamflows were near normal to slightly below normal for the area.

Reservoirs around the region remain well below capacity. The table below shows reservoir percent of normal capacity and change in elevation over the past 30 days as calculated by the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

Reservoir Percent of Normal Elevation Change
Angostura 39% +0.8 ft
Belle Fourche 33% +2.3 ft
Deerfield 75% -0.1 ft
Keyhole 29% 0.0 ft
Pactola 57% -0.2 ft
Shadehill 62% -0.5 ft

Temperature and Precipiation Outlook

Temperatures are expected to be below normal through late January. A return to above normal temperatures is expected by the beginning of February and lasting through the middle of February. Precipitation is expected to be near or slightly above normal through the middle of February.

Questions or Comments

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information please contact,

Melissa Smith or Lee Czepyha
Drought Focal Points
National Weather Service
300 East Signal Drive
Rapid City South Dakota 57701
Telephone 605-341-9271
E-mail melissa.smith@noaa.gov or lee.czepyha@noaa.gov


The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) and National Climatic Data Center, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), state and regional center climatologists, and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this statement has been gathered from NWS and Federal Aviation Administration observation sites, state cooperative extension services, USDA, USBR, and USGS.

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