Drought monitor shows ‘extreme drought’ despite recent rain and snow


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Recent rain and snow has made some difference on moisture levels in KELOLAND, but as meteorologist Brian Karstens explains, we still have some major deficits in place heading into winter.

The spots of snow are few and far between now in the Sioux Falls area and there’s finally a little moisture in the soil. But has it been enough to improve the drought monitor?

The short is answer is no. The latest drought monitor released on Thursday features no change over last week. Extreme drought still covers the Sioux Falls areas, including much of Lincoln County and parts of northwest Iowa. Extreme drought also includes a small area near Pine Ridge.

Now it is true the 30 day moisture trend is improving. This map shows much above normal moisture totals for much of KELOLAND. However, the accumulated deficits earlier in the year are significant and its unlikely the moisture we get before the ground freezes would be sufficient to change the math much.

Area rivers will continue to drop as colder air arrives. If the ground freezes before snow cover increases, very little of that snow will soak into soil. We’ll continue to watch that trend as December approaches.

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