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Drought Conditions in the High Plains Region-Update August 22

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Source/Author: Joseph Brum-High Plains Regional Climate Center 08/22/13

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, beneficial rainfall continues to improve drought conditions in the western half of the High Plains Region, whereas the 30 day and 60 day precipitation deficits are returning some short-term drought to the eastern half of the Region.  

In the Region as a whole moderate drought (D1) remained constant this week, with some areas improving and others getting worse. In South Dakota, an area of D1 in the western half of the state was upgraded to abnormally dry (D0) this week, while southeastern Nebraska had an area of D1 continue to expand south towards the Kansas border. Precipitation deficits in southeastern Nebraska over the past 30 days are upwards of 3 inches and over 60 days nearing 6 inches in some locations.

Improvements continued for western Kansas this week, the area of exceptional drought (D4) was cut in half this week totaling 8.83% of the state, the lowest it has been since July of last year. D1 and D0 were also trimmed in south-central Kansas along the Oklahoma border.

In Colorado, monsoonal moisture continues to improve the eastern half of the state. D4 conditions along the Kansas border were upgraded this week and a large portion (nearly a 7% area) of severe drought (D2) was upgrades in the northeastern corner of the state. These wet conditions are helping eastern Wyoming as well, where extreme drought (D3) was upgraded one category and D0 was eliminated along the Wyoming-South Dakota border.  

Short term precipitation deficits are maintaining the eastern half of North Dakota in D0 and D1 conditions. These dry conditions have now spread south along the entire eastern border of South Dakota. 30 day precipitation deficits in these areas are pushing towards 3 inches.

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/sdo_summary.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










 58.18 38.84 


 27.33 72.67 58.36 40.42 18.42 3.40
 23.95 76.05 60.77


 19.25 5.74
 07/30/2013 20.53 79.47 64.24 46.11 22.01 7.79
 07/23/2013 19.86 80.14


 47.65 22.59


 07/16/2013 21.99 78.01 67.00 48.02 22.41 7.78



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