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Drought Conditions in the High Plains Region-Update September 5

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Source/Author: Joseph Brum-High Plains Regional Climate Center 09/05/13


According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, excessive heat continues to cause problems in portions of the High Plains Region. Temperatures have remained 6-10 degrees above normal over the past two weeks, but most areas received enough precipitation that drought conditions remained nearly constant this week.   

In the Region, as a whole, moderate drought (D1) or worse ticked down about 1% this week, to total 63.14% of the Region. Although this percentage of area remains high, this time last year 88.07% of the Region was in D1 or worse condition. Looking at the exceptional drought (D4), 2.16% of the Region remains in this condition. This is also a major improvement over last year where nearly 15% of the Region was consumed by D4.

The reduction of D1 conditions occurred in central North Dakota, where enough precipitation was received this week to cause the 1-category upgrade. Furthermore, abnormally dry (D0) conditions were elimated in central and northeast North Dakota to the tune of about 10%.  In eastern South Dakota, conditions still remain dry where 14-day precipitation deficits are nearing 2 inches.

Nebraska had slight improvements this week in the southeastern corner of the state. Almost 3 inches of precipitation fell in this area over the weekend causing a 1-category upgrade.  These rains spilled into northeastern Kansas, also creating a 1-category upgrade. Other portions of Kansas and Nebraska had drought conditions remain the same this week.

In Colorado, there was a slight trimming of extreme drought (D3) in the south-central portion of the state. Unfortunately, the monsoonal showers did not provide enough precipitation in the southeastern part of the state, and the small area of D4 was expanded slightly. On the other hand, the monsoon showers in southeastern Wyoming did provide enough moisture for drought relief. D3, D2, and D1 all had improvements this week.



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










 63.14 38.49 


 21.61 78.39 64.04 39.00 16.58 2.05
 27.30 72.70 58.18


 17.29 2.14
 08/13/2013 27.33 72.67 58.36 40.42 18.42 3.40
 08/06/2013 23.95 76.05


 42.60 19.25


 07/30/2013 20.53 79.47 64.24 46.11 22.01 7.79


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