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Drought Conditions in the High Plains Region-Update August 29

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Source/Author: Joseph Brum-High Plains Regional Climate Center 08/29/13

Image © NDMC


According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, excessive heat and short term precipitation deficits are causing a flash drought in some portions of the High Plains Region. Temperatures the past two weeks have topped out in the upper 90s and even the low 100s in the Region. This heat is deteriorating soil moisture conditions rapidly.  

In the Region, as a whole, moderate drought (D1) jumped 6% this week, to total 64.04% of the Region. The D1 conditions mainly returned in southeastern North Dakota and northeastern South Dakota. In North Dakota, D1 conditions now account for 30.53% of the state and over half the state is now in an abnormally dry (D0) or worse condition. In South Dakota, D1 conditions jumped to 22.87% of the state with 60% of the state in a D0 condition or worse. After two weeks of improvements in the western half of South Dakota, improvements have slowed and conditions remained the same. The one bright spot for South Dakota occurred in the southeastern tip of the state where D1 was upgrade to D0 after good rains came through the area. Unfortunately these rains were isolated and were not able to improve surrounding areas.

The excessive heat and lack of moisture continued in southeastern Nebraska this week prompting a downgrade in conditions, to severe drought (D2), along Interstate-80 between Omaha and Lincoln. All other areas of the Nebraska had conditions remain the same.  

In Colorado, improvements were made in the central and eastern parts of the state. In these areas one category upgrades occurred in areas of extreme drought (D3) and D2. Furthermore, the small area of exceptional drought (D4) continues to improve. Wyoming also had minor improvements this week. A small portion of D2 was trimmed back in the southeastern corner of the state.

After almost a month of relentless rainfall, Kansas has had a break in the action. All areas of Kansas remained the same with the only exception in south-central, where  there was a minor expansion of D0 along the border.



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










 64.04 39.00 


 27.30 72.70 58.18 38.84 17.29 2.14
 27.33 72.67 58.36


 18.42 3.40
 08/06/2013 23.95 76.05 60.77 42.60 19.25 5.74
 07/30/2013 20.53 79.47


 46.11 22.01


 07/23/2013 19.86 80.14 66.27 47.65 22.59 8.47


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