Drought persists in the Hills, forecast predicts more of the same or worse conditions

Dry fields
Dry fields(Andre Brooks)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:58 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - There were a handful of opportunities for rain last week, but only a few of them came to pass. Again, the Black Hills received less rainfall than average for the week. This is increasing drought conditions in some areas.

Rapid City didn’t see a change according to the drought monitor, but east of the city saw conditions worsen. Northern South Dakota counties, like Harding and Perkins, are under extreme drought, and north of them and near the southern border of North Dakota, exceptional drought.

Experts say they wouldn’t be surprised if these conditions continued to make their way south into the Hills and increase drought conditions.

Meteorologist Jacob Montesano says a contributing factor to drought is that the rain we’ve been seeing in the Hills this summer hasn’t been covering a large area.

”We need to look for a lot of stratiform rain events. Basically what that is, is just widespread rain. Like, these little super cells aren’t going to change the drought monitor, because they’re really small and not affecting entire areas. Like I mentioned before, there are days that receive a lot of rain fall and other areas receive zero. So, we need a lot of those rain events that cover the entire area,” says Montesano.

Montesano also expects to see the same conditions for next week. However, he says that the fall and winter months are favorable for widespread precipitation events, and that hopefully those events will occur. If they do, he hopes to see them effect drought conditions in South Dakota positively.

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