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Drought Conditions in the High Plains Region-Update May 30

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Source/Author: Joseph Brum-High Plains Regional Climate Center 05/30/13

Drought Monitor May 28. 2013

Image © NDMC

Year to date precipitation percent of normal

Image © HPRCC

Large amounts of rain fell in the eastern portion of the High Plains Region this past week. This rain continues to aid in the drought recovery in the Region. Unfortunately the western portions of the Region which have not received rain had drought conditions remain the same, or as in some areas deteriorate even more this week. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the area of moderate drought (D1) or worse decreased another 3.75% this week, to total 72.98% of the Region. Again this decrease in D1 area was in the eastern portion of the Region where heavy rains fell in the Dakotas and in the eastern portions of Nebraska and Kansas.

In South Dakota, rain totals of up to 10 inches in some areas helped eliminate the drought conditions altogether. A drought free area is beginning to expand in the northeast corner of the South Dakota and less than one quarter (21.41) of the state is in a severe drought (D2) or worse condition.  Furthermore, only a sliver of extreme drought (D3), totaling 0.37%, remains in South Dakota this week. In Nebraska, all areas in the eastern half of the state were upgraded one drought category this week. The area of D3 or worse conditions reduced more than 20% this week, lowering the total area to 39.34% of the state. The eastern portion of Kansas saw improvements as well, with reduction in D1 conditions and expansion of a drought free area along the Nebraska border. In the western half of the state, the area of exceptional drought (D4) increased this week which has continued to hurt the winter wheat crop and pasturelands. The bright spot this week was in North Dakota, where the state became virtually drought free, with only 0.01% of the state in D1 conditions and only 16.87% of the state remains in an abnormally dry (D0) condition.

As mentioned before, the western portion of the Region received little to no rain this past week keeping the states of Colorado and Wyoming with the same drought conditions as last week. With rain continuing in the Region conditions look to improve again, with next week’s update. 


To learn more about the U.S. Drought Monitor, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

To see the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, please see the Climate Prediction Center here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/seasonal_drought.html

To see the areas of agriculture affected by the drought, please see the USDA link: http://www.usda.gov/oce/weather/Drought/AgInDrought.pdf

To see the impacts of the drought, please see the Drought Impact Reporter here: http://droughtreporter.unl.edu/

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 Regional Statistics here: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_tables.htm?High_Plains

      Drought Condition (Percent Area): High Plains Region








 72.98 55.55  


 11.10 88.90 76.75 60.09 25.05 7.62
 7.52 92.48 80.56


 29.25 7.88
 05/07/2013 7.98 92.02 82.55 66.30 30.43 8.48
 04/30/2013 7.72 92.28 85.04 69.52 32.53


 04/23/2013 7.07 92.93 86.14 69.80 37.82 7.32

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