Weather Forecast

A field north of Mitchell is partially filled with water Thursday afternoon. (Jordan Steffen/Daily Republic)

Little short-term drought relief in SD

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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Drought conditions across South Dakota are almost unchanged from last week, a weekly drought report says.

Areas of severe to extreme drought have declined in South Dakota since last week, but only slightly, according to the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, which was released Thursday.


The monitor is maintained by the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Neb. The report measures drought on a scale ranging from abnormally dry to moderate, severe, extreme and exceptional.

In recent months, spring moisture has lessened drought conditions across South Dakota. Just three months ago, the entire state was in moderate drought or worse. At that time, about 64 percent of South Dakota was in extreme drought or worse and about 30 percent of the state was in exceptional drought, the most severe category.

As of Tuesday morning -- the data cutoff for the most recent drought report -- about 88 percent of South Dakota was in a moderate drought or worse, but only about 21 percent of the state was in extreme drought or worse and none of the state was in exceptional drought.

A spring thunderstorm that soaked the Mitchell area with more than an inch of rain early Wednesday morning was not factored into the report.