South Dakota State University officials say drought conditions have worsened in South Dakota as hot, dry weather returned last week after a brief period of cooler temperatures.
SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist Laura Edwards says the latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows parts of southeastern South Dakota in exceptional drought, the most severe category.
Edwards says the exceptional drought category reflects conditions that typically occur only once every 50 years or so. Areas in that category include Bon Homme, Yankton, Clay and Union counties, and parts of Lincoln, Turner, Hutchinson, Charles Mix and Shannon counties.
Edwards says conditions also degraded in the rest of South Dakota. More than 91 percent of the state is rated in moderate, severe, extreme or exceptional drought. The remaining 9 percent is rated as abnormally dry.