Heavy snow, rain help drought in SD
By Northern Plains News Service
Recent snow and rains greatly improved South Dakota’s drought situation.
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, 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, which continues to remain constant at 0.3 percent of the Region. The area of moderate drought or worse improved by another 9 percent this week, to total 34.37 percent. Another 5 percent improvement in area of severe drought 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 and moderate drought conditions were eliminated.
Also, along the Nebraska border, there is an area of severe drought was upgraded to moderate drought or abnormally dry.
In eastern South Dakota, a large portion of the moderate drought area that has been plaguing the area for the past few months has reduced considerably.
In eastern North Dakota, the area of moderate drought was reduced considerably as well. Only 2.22 percent of the state remains in a drought type condition.
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 moderate drought or worse conditions improved by almost 20 percent this week and the area of severe drought or worse improved by more than 10 percent.