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Drought Conditions in the High Plains Region - Spring Update

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Source/Author: Joseph Brum-High Plains Regional Climate Center 04/04/13

Year to date percent of normal precipitation

Image © HPRCC

Drought Monitor for the High Plains Region

Image © National Drought Mitigation Center

With winter coming to a close and spring in full swing the High Plains Region continues to be in a drought condition. The Region has received some precipitation that has helped the drought conditions improve over the last three months. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the total area of the High Plains Regions in a moderate drought (D1) condition or worse is 91.68%, an improvement of around 1.5% compared to January 1, 2013. There have been larger improvements in the higher intensity drought conditions as well. Severe drought (D2) conditions, extreme drought (D3) conditions, and exceptional drought (D4) conditions have all had a reduction in area around 5% in each category.

Looking at the drought over the past three months on a state level, Wyoming has had a 10% reduction in area of D3 or worse conditions. Kansas has also seen a reduction in area of D3 or worse conditions, by almost 15%. Colorado has seen a decrease of about 7.5 % in D3 or worse conditions. In South Dakota D3 conditions have gone up slightly from three months ago, but there has been a 10% reduction in area of D4 conditions. Nebraska still has the worst drought conditions of any state in the Region with nearly 76% of the state in a D4 condition, only a 1.5% improvement over the past three months. On the opposite end of the spectrum, North Dakota’s drought condition is the best in the Region. The state is without D4 type conditions and nearly 36% of the area is free of any drought or abnormally dry (D0) conditions, an improvement of almost 25% versus three months ago. To learn more about the U.S. Drought Monitor, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

With this update the High Plains Regional Climate Center will continue with drought updates on a weekly basis, every Thursday, as it did last summer and fall.  

Check out the table below for the drought conditions over the past month for the High Plains Region.

To view statistics of the High Plains Region and each state check out the Tabular Statistics here: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_highplains.htm



      Drought Condition (Percent Area): High Plains Region










 4.65  95.35  91.34  81.30  54.82  22.24
 4.65  95.35  91.29


 55.52  24.37
 03/12/2013  4.65  95.35  91.29  81.46  55.58  24.37
 03/05/2013  4.65  95.35  91.30  82.03  55.76


 02/26/2013  4.66  95.34  91.34  82.51  56.77  26.68



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