South Dakota Climate & Drought Summary Back »

Figure 1. U.S. Drought Monitor: South Dakota - June 20, 2017
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

U.S. Drought Monitor

As of June 22, 2017, 51% of South Dakota is in drought, defined as D1/Moderate Drought or worse on the U.S. Drought Monitor map. This is the most drought area since the map dated May 5, 2015. A new area of Extreme Drought (D3) was introduced this week in Dewey, Walworth counties and some neighboring areas. The Severe Drought area expanded to include 18 percent of the state, a 5 percentage point  increase.

7-day Summary

Rainfall for the week (June 15-21) was below average across the state. Some of the highest totals were 0.6 to 1.0 inches for the last seven days. These higher amounts were primarily in the Northeast and Southeast areas. These amounts are still below the average of about one inch per week for this time of year, however.

Temperatures were near average or slightly cooler for most locations. Average temperatures ranged from two degrees below average to one degree above average. A handful of warmer areas were near Sioux Falls and a couple of central Black Hills locations.


The rainfall from over a week ago continues to provide moisture for some green up in the northeast part of the state. Crop progress in corn and soybeans also showed positive response to the beneficial moisture. However, poor stands and uneven emergence are still evident in the many fields across Northern and Central South Dakota. Spring wheat continues to be in poor condition. National spring wheat crop condition ranks the current year as the lowest condition index in at least 20 years (Source: USDA Office of Chief Economist).

Figure 2. Spring wheat crop condition as of June 14, 2017. Source: USDA

In the livestock sector, cow and cow/calf pairs are still going up for sale across the state. Water quality continues to be an issue, as there are some reports of cattle dying due to poor water in drought areas with high Total Dissolved Solids.

Emergency Measures
As of June 16, 2017, 19 counties have burn bans in place. Fourteen counties have burn ordinances that are tied to Red Flag Warning and/or Grassland Fire Index values. At least five counties have drought declarations in place with the State of South Dakota’s Office of Emergency Management. Six others were in progress, and at least four others in discussion as of June 20, 2017.


After the rainfall passes through the middle of the state today, a generally dry forecast will remain for the next several days. According to today’s forecast, the next best chances of rainfall will be middle of next week.

Temperatures across the state will be cooler than average for the next several days, which can help reduce the number of new drought impacts that may occur. Next week, warmer temperatures will move into the area. Some breezy conditions may accompany this warm-up.  Starting mid-week, most areas will have high temperatures in the 80s again, with lows in the 50s and 60s.

Figure 3. 7-day total forecast rainfall for June 22-29, 2017.
Source: NOAA Weather Prediction Center

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Past Summaries

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