SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The viewer can’t miss a bright red area on a drought map for South Dakota.

The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and NOAA released their weekly drought map for July 14 lists much of the county in extreme drought and the rest in severe or moderate drought.

The July 12 drought map shows Union County in mostly red which is extreme drought. The map was released on July 14. NOAA graphic.

If you live in South Dakota you are used to the extremes, said Patricia (Pat) Jurrens the financial clerk for the city of Alcester. “It can be (extreme) cold with lots of snow and we are used to extreme heat and dry,” she said.

The dry conditions may not vary in extremes but they do vary as rain amounts differ throughout the county.

“The storm last Tuesday, there was seven inches south of Elk Point and the city of Elk Point got a half inch,” Jurrens said. “In Alcester, we got four tenths.”

“The most rain we’ve gotten all spring and summer is 7/10ths,” Jurrens said of Alcester.

“We get sporadic rains,” said Jason Westcott, the county’s emergency management director. “Last week we had some good rains. Some got two to three inches of rain.”

The grass is greening up in areas that got timely rains. “A lot of the grass was starting to brown,” Westcott said.

Although much of Union County is listed in extreme drought, the county has not had a recent burn ban, Westcott said.

“Early in the spring, we were under a burn band for quite a few weeks,” Westcott said.

The situation could change as high temperatures and dry conditions are predicted into next week, he said.

The dry conditions are still being felt in crop fields, lawns and gardens.

Producers are running irrigation systems as a way to fend off the heat and lack of rain, Westcott said.

According to NOAA and the NIDIS, there are 123,105 acres of corn in drought and 115,615 acres of soybeans in drought. Another 7,389 acres of hay are in drought.

“Our water consumption is increasing,” Jurrens said of use by city customers. “People are trying to preserve their gardens. Some people are watering their lawns. Some don’t water and let nature take its course.”

The city is fortunate the municipal park has lots of trees that provide shade for the grass, she said.

The city owns a golf course. The course has its own well water.

“The fairways had a rough winter because there was no snow cover,” Jurrens said. “They got nice in June because of the little rain we had. Now, in July you can see that it’s struggling. It’s not looking as healthy as we would like.”

In 2013, nearly 100% of Union County was in extreme drought at this time of year. It was also listed as in exceptional drought, according to NOAA and NIDIS.

Last year roughly 50% of the county was in extreme drought and most were in at least moderate drought.

Westcott said he grew up in the area and is used to the extremes in heat and rainfall as are many locals.

Jurrens described Alcester residents as concerned but adapting. “The Alcester community has older residents who have been through this numerous times,” Jurrens said.

Jurrens said she relies on her own religious faith and knows the weather is not under her control.