SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Drought continues in South Dakota, even as grey clouds hovered overhead Friday morning. For more than a year now, the Big Sioux River running through Sioux Falls has been low.
Today, that ranking is even lower, simply categorized as “Low.”
The USGS scale ranges from high to low, with the levels being high, much above normal, above normal, normal, below normal, much below normal, and low. It is also important to note that this scale measures the level “for this day of the year.”
Simply looking at the river, it may appear that there is a bit more water now than in July, but that is also the difference between Spring and Summer. A “normal” percentile range for streamflow for this time of year is in the range of 25-75%. This stretch of the Big Sioux is currently marked at 2%.
Currently, only two other stretches of stream in South Dakota are in the “low” category, both on the Whitewood Creek; on a section near Whitewood, and one section near Vale. Nine sections of streams are listed as “much below normal.”
There are 167 stream segments monitored by USGS for South Dakota. Of these, 8 are categorized as “above normal,” 1 was categorized as “much above normal,” and 1 as “high.”
Take a look at these side-by-side comparisons of the downtown Sioux Falls stretch of the Big Sioux, taken 283 days apart.