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Drought Conditions in the High Plains Region-Update October 10

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Source/Author: Joseph Brum-High Plains Regional Climate Center 10/10/13

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, heavy and record setting precipitation fell this past week in the High Plains Region. In South Dakota, a blizzard set several snowfall records, including in Rapid City, SD, which had a snowfall measurement of 23.1 inches over a two-day span.  

In the Region as a whole, all categories of drought continue to improve with the exception of extreme drought (D4), which continues to remain constant at 0.3% of the Region. The area of moderate drought (D1) or worse improved by another 9% this week, to total 34.37%. Another 5% improvement in area of severe drought (D2) occurred this week as well.

South Dakota had major improvements this week, with heavy amounts of precipitation falling across the entire state. In western South Dakota, where the heavy, wet snow fell, a majority of the abnormally dry (D0) and D1 conditions were eliminated. Also, along the Nebraska border an area of D2 was upgraded to D1 or D0. In eastern South Dakota, a large portion of the D1 area that has been plaguing the area for the past few months has reduced considerably. In eastern North Dakota, the area of D1 was reduced considerably as well. Only 2.22% of the state remains in a drought type condition.

In Wyoming, heavy precipitation fell this week as well. The two areas of D3 conditions were upgraded to D2 this week, eliminating all D3 from Wyoming for the first time since May 29th of last year. In northern Wyoming, there were widespread one-category upgrades. A large portion of D0 was eliminated and D1 is now in the D0 category.

In Nebraska, heavy rains fell over the eastern half of the state over a three day period. Many areas were upgraded one category and along the Platte River there was a two-category upgrade. The area of D1 or worse conditions improved by almost 20% this week and the area of D2 or worse improved by more than 10%.

In Colorado and Kansas, conditions remained nearly the same as last week, with minor changes in D0 in western Kansas and D1 in Colorado.



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 (Unavailable with Government Shutdown): 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/DataArchive/Tables.aspx?high_plains

      Drought Condition (Percent Area): High Plains Region










 34.37 14.62


 29.87 70.13 43.21 19.50 3.01 0.30




 5.87 0.30
 09/17/2013 25.94 74.06 54.27 25.19 7.47 0.30
 09/10/2013 21.79 78.21


 38.13 15.63


 09/3/2013 23.60 76.40 63.14 38.49 16.25 2.16

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