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September 14, 2012 06:17 PM

Best Hope For Ending The Drought

The latest drought monitor is showing little change over KELOLAND.

The official end of summer is coming quickly, and the lingering impacts of the drought remain intense. Some of the recent problems can be found in central KELOLAND.

"The little change this week over the central part of the state has been because if you look at precipitation over the past 30 days, they've essentially had nothing.  Pierre has reported a trace," South Dakota State Climatologist Dennis Todey said.

That's a record for the Capitol city as the intensity of this drought continues to expand west and north.

The .25"-.50" rains over the southeast this past week have been welcome, but will do little to change the drought trends. The exceptional drought areas just south of Sioux Falls are in the worst shape. With the harvest just underway, we are starting to get confirmation of just how severe this drought compares to those of the past.

"In the southeast part of the state, we are probably going to see yield losses on a percentage basis that may rival the 1930s," Todey said.

With many communities several inches below normal, there's no quick fix for this drought. The short-term forecast calls for more cold fronts over the next couple of weeks, but no substantial moisture. El Nino may help, but this is only one of many factors to watch.

"Right now, we're on the verge of being in that El Nino.  That El Nino will likely be weak to moderate. It's something we need to factor in, but it may not be the big player we need to get this pattern to change," Todey said.

The best hope for the fall is that the drought may improve one or perhaps two categories on the drought monitor by November, but a total end to the drought is not foreseen at this time.

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