Good News: Drought Continues to Subside Across High Plains
The latest information from the United States Drought Monitor shows that drought conditions continue to subside across the High Plains.
The U.S. Drought Monitor, released on Thursday, October 19th, shows that “exceptional” drought, the highest category of drought on the monitor, is no longer present across any part of the High Plains, or the country as a whole. This level of drought, defined as causing exceptional and widespread crop and pasture losses, shortages of water reservoirs, streams and wells, creating water emergencies, has been persistent across Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota since mid July until now.
The drought across this region has been so bad that it led to billions of dollars in financial losses, joining the list of billion-dollar weather and climate disasters for the United States this year. There have been 15 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2017. The record for the calendar year is 16.
The improvements in the drought conditions across the High Plains has been due to recent precipitation sweeping across the region in the last few weeks. Before that, precipitation was very limited across this region.
Unfortunately, even with the recent precipitation, much more is needed, as much of the region still deals with drought conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor still shows that most of Montana and the Dakotas are dealing with a range of drought conditions, from “adnormally dry” to “extreme” drought, with the worst conditions present across eastern Montana.