BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakotans’ apprehension of an impending drought has been growing, and rightfully so, says Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension State Climatologist. According to the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate outlook, there will be minimal moisture reprieve in the months to come.
The U.S. Drought Monitor map released January 21 shows over 60 percent of the state in Moderate (D1) to Extreme (D3) drought categories. The remaining nearly 40 percent is in the Abnormally Dry (D0) category. Three months ago, only 42 percent of the state was in the Moderate to Extreme drought categories
Edwards says the lack of precipitation recently has made a dry situation worse, as soil and surface water are also evaporating during this abnormally warm winter.