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Rains Lessen Dakotas’ Drought Conditions


Drought Conditions

(NPN) — Recent rains have helped drought conditions in the Dakotas, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

In the Dakotas, rainfall helped drought conditions by upgrading an area of severe drought (D2) in northeastern South Dakota to moderate drought (D1) and upgrading D1 conditions in the eastern third of North Dakota to abnormally dry (D0). Also, an area of D0 was eliminated in the southeastern corner of North Dakota.

In other areas of the plains states (Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas), according to the monitor.

Rainfall in Colorado tapered off this week, but widespread rainfall in the eastern Dakotas, central Nebraska, and northwestern Kansas helped improve conditions in those areas.

In the plains region as a whole, area of moderate drought (D1) or worse conditions improved by another 6 percent this week, to total 43.21 percent. A 5 percent improvement in area of severe drought (D2) occurred this week as well. As with last week, 0.30 percent of the Region still remains in exceptional drought (D4).

Wyoming had major improvements this week. A large area of extreme drought (D3) was upgraded to D2 in the southwestern portions of the state. Now only 2.85 percent of the state remains in a D3 condition.

In central Wyoming, a majority of the area was upgraded one-category eliminating drought conditions and leaving the area in an abnormally dry (D0) condition.

In Colorado, an area of D2 was upgraded this week to D1 in the northwestern corner of the state. In the northeastern corner of the state D0 conditions were eliminated and D1 conditions were upgraded to D0. The only area of exceptional drought (D4) in the Region still remains in the southeastern corner.

Western Kansas also has improvements this week. The areas of D3 were upgraded one-category and only total about 4 percent of the state. This is a major upgrade from just a month ago when on Sept. 3, 30.55 percent of the state was in D3 conditions.

In Nebraska, the panhandle continues to see improvements. Some D0 was eliminated and a small portion of D1 was trimmed back. In south-central Nebraska an area of D3 was upgraded to D2 and now only 6.6 percent of the state remains in D3. In north-central Nebraska a large area of D2 was upgrade to D1.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced by the High Plains Climate Research Center in Lincoln, Neb.

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