Updated on Thursday October 17, 2013
Drought conditions as of October 17. With the abundant moisture received from the October Blizzard and the recent heavy rain, little if any drought conditions remain across northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota. An area of abnormally dry conditions remain across southern portions of Campbell and Weston counties in northeastern Wyoming as well as Bennett, Todd, and southern portions of Fall River and Shannon counties in western South Dakota. These abnormally dry conditions remain due to long term moisture deficits.
Rain began falling across northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota on October 3. Over an inch of rain was reported before colder air moved into the region, changing the rain to snow. On October 4 and 5, 12 to 24 inches of snow piled up on the plains with three to five feet of snow in the Black Hills. This heavy snow combined with winds of 35 to 45 mph and gusts of 70 mph to create whiteout conditions. When the blizzard ended, over four inches of liquid precipitation was received across the northern and central Black Hills and foothills. As this heavy snow melted, two additional storm systems brought two to four inches of rain to the area. This additional rainfall combined with the melting snow, caused flooding. This greatly reduced the drought impacts across the area.
Through the end of October, there is a greater chance for below average temperatures with around average precipitation. Average high temperatures are typically in the upper 50s with low temperatures in the lower 30s. In the Black Hills, temperatures are slightly cooler. Precipitation in October typically ranges from 1.25 to 2.25 inches.
The table below shows reservoir percent of average capacity and feet from full on September 30 according to the Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).
Percent of Normal
Feet from Full
|Belle Fourche||68%||-7.5 ft|
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.