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The current U.S. Drought Monitor shows slight improvement across South Dakota, thanks to recent August rainfall. Widespread severe to extreme drought conditions/impacts persist however.



According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), South Dakota as a state averaged a deficit of 2.9" of moisture from January 1st to July 31st. Thus, 2017 ranks as the 16th driest in 123 years-worth of data. By comparison, the worst year on record through this time period was during the heart of the Dust Bowl in 1936 when South Dakota averaged a deficit of 6.11". While the current drought's impacts have been similarly devastating for several locations, they thankfully haven't been as widespread across the state as 1936 or a few other years in South Dakota's history. Also of note, Wisconsin recorded their *wettest* Jan-July on record! A stagnant weather pattern, as was observed during much of the first half of the year, results in both anomalous deficits and surpluses of moisture, depending on your location.