Drought Conditions Continue to Improve Across Western South Dakota and Northeastern Wyoming

Updated on Monday, June 11, 2007
Updated as needed


Drought conditions as of June 11. The southern Black Hills and Fall River County continued to experience severe (D2) drought conditions. Elsewhere, northwestern South Dakota improved to abnormally dry (D0), while no drought conditions were depicted over northeastern Wyoming or in the northern Black Hills.

Summary of Impacts

  • Short term drought conditions in northeastern Wyoming, northwestern South Dakota and south central South Dakota have greatly improved and in some area have been eliminated. However, cumulative effects from eight years of drought remain.
  • According to the Rapid City Journal, mandatory water conservation restrictions are in effect in Rapid City through September. Lawns may not be watered between 9 AM and 6 PM.
  • According to the Angostura Irrigation District, irrigators will only receive 15% of their water allocation this season due to low water levels in Angostura Reservoir.
  • The Wyoming Game and Fish Department increased the number of hunting licenses to be issued this year in an attempt to regain a balance between the number of animals on the land and the amount of forage available to sustain them after eight years of drought.
  • Stock ponds and dugouts continue to be very low which is limiting water for cattle and other animals. Water at such low levels typically is of poor quality and not usable.

Climate Summary

During the month of May temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees above normal and precipitation was generally above normal. The only locations with below normal precipitation were in the southern and central Black Hills and southwestern South Dakota. Elsewhere, precipitation was above normal with the heaviest precipitation falling across northeastern Wyoming, northwestern South Dakota and the northern Black Hills where 5 to 9 inches of rain fell during the month of May. Precipitation amounts ranged from 1.35 inches in Ardmore to 9.41 inches in Deadwood.

Precipitation and Temperature Outlook

Neutral ENSO (El Nino – Southern Oscillation) conditions continued into June. At this time weak La Nina conditions could develop by the end of July. However, there is a great deal of uncertainty on how strong the La Nina will be if it develops. The strength of La Nina impacts the expected climate response. The Climate Prediction Center outlook through August calls for above average temperatures and near average precipitation.

Hydrologic Summary and Outlook

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the monthly-average streamflow for May was normal over most basins except for the Cheyenne River Basin where conditions were below normal. At the beginning of June, daily streamflow conditions were in the 25th to 89th percentile.

Reservoirs around the region remain below average for this time of year. The table below shows reservoir percent of average 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 44% -1.2 ft
Belle Fourche 70% +2.6 ft
Deerfield 83% +0.9 ft
Keyhole 37% +0.6 ft
Pactola 64% +1.8 ft
Shadehill 64% +0.3 ft

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.

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