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The latest version of the U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that nearly 25 percent of South Dakota -- the area in white -- is now drought-free. (Image courtesy of National Drought Mitigation Center)

Rains push quarter of SD out of drought

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

Nearly 25 percent of South Dakota is no longer in a drought, a weekly drought report says.

Spring rainstorms have eased drought conditions across much of South Dakota, especially in the northeast part of the state where, in many areas, the drought has been eliminated altogether.

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As of Tuesday morning -- the data cutoff for the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report -- 24.44 percent of South Dakota was no longer in any type of drought. That's an improvement from last week when 17.11 percent of the state was free of drought. Three months ago, all of South Dakota was in some form of drought.

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.

Areas of moderate to severe drought remain in some areas of South Dakota, especially in the southwest, where the last sliver of extreme drought anywhere in the state hangs on in southern Fall River County.

The majority of Davison County is still abnormally dry, but conditions have improved since early May when the entire county was in moderate to severe drought.

Since May 1, Mitchell has received approximately 5.05 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. The single largest rainfall event since then occurred May 8, when Mitchell was soaked with 1.18 inches of rain. Between May 15 and May 31, the city received some type of moisture on all but one day.

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