Updated on Friday, October 5, 2012
The next planned update will be in November.
Drought conditions as of October 5. Exceptional /D4/ drought conditions are located across portions of South Dakota and Wyoming. This includes Weston County in northeastern Wyoming and Fall River, Shannon, eastern Pennington, southern Meade, southwestern Haakon, Jackson, Bennett, Mellette, Todd, and Tripp Counties in South Dakota. Extreme /D3/ drought conditions cover the southern portions of Campbell and Crook Counties and the rest of Weston County in northeastern Wyoming; in South Dakota extreme /D3/ drought covers Lawrence, western Pennington, Custer, southern Ziebach, and the rest of Meade and Haakon Counties. The rest of northwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming was classified as severe /D2/ drought conditions.
Several stations reported no precipitation during the month of September; another in a long string of drier than normal months since March. Annual rainfall amounts are three to seven inches below average so far this year.
The outlook through mid-October indicates average temperatures with below average precipitation. Average high temperatures during this time are in the lower to middle 60s with average low temperatures in the upper 30s. Average precipitation is around a half inch on the plains and an inch in the Black Hills.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, streamflows over the past 28 days are below normal.
The table below shows reservoir percent of average capacity on September 6 according to the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).
|Reservoir||Percent of Normal||Feet from Full|
|Belle Fourche||34%||18.6 ft|
Fire Weather Outlook
The lack of significant precipitation has led to below normal fuel moisture across northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota. Normally during this time of the year, fuel conditions decline fairly rapidly. Fire danger indices this fall are very slow to improve so far. In order for significant improvements in fuel conditions to take place, a sustained input of moisture would need to occur. Contact your local county officials for the latest burning restrictions.
Questions or Comments
If you have any questions or comments about this drought information please contact,
Drought Focal Point
National Weather Service
300 East Signal Drive
Rapid City South Dakota 57701
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.