Moving into fall, everyone was looking for rain.
With warm air stuck in the south after a sizzling summer, temperatures cooled off in October. Even with the variety of temperatures and cold fronts, KELOLAND could barely manage any major rain.
Pierre hasn't seen a half inch of rain since June 20. And from June through October, Sioux Falls is down more than ten inches of moisture. Good rainfall is important even after the harvest because healthy soil needs time to re-charge.
The rains need time to soak in before the long freeze. During this transition period between seasons, South Dakota could typically count on between five and seven inches of rain. Now there's just dust.
The best moisture would come from the Gulf of Mexico or a bulls-eye winter storm track. Even with a dramatic change in the weather pattern, we'd have catching up to do.
An active spring could still leave us dry and forecasts that far out are based on past seasons. But since this drought shouldn't happen more than twice a century, there aren't many past seasons to relate this to.