Most of South Dakota is moderate to severe drought, and worsening.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor, released today, now indicates abnormally dry to severe drought spanning across South Dakota. The entire state is depicted this week in D0 to D3 status on the map, which can be viewed here.
Nearly 60% of North Dakota is the abnormally dry to severe drought stage. The severest drought, about 5% of the state, is located northwest of Fargo. About 40% of the state is not affected by drought, main area from central North Dakota to north western North Dakota. See map for details.
"On a Corn Belt basis, this is the most widespread drought since 1988," says Dennis Todey, South Dakota State climatologist.
Precipitation over the last week was less than an inch across all of South Dakota, he says, with the exception of the northwest and some other localized areas.
"The recent seven to 10 days of heat and limited rainfall have accelerated drought conditions statewide," said Laura Edwards, Extension climate field specialist. Above average temperatures increase water demand by crops and vegetation, in an already water-limited environment.
Seventy-seven percent of South Dakota is now considered to be in moderate to severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. "This reflects a thirty percent increase in the area experiencing a significant level of drought impacts," said Edwards. Almost twenty percent of the state is in severe drought, or D3, on this week's map. This is the most state coverage at this level of drought since July 2007.