Dakota Farmer

Weather outlook predicts a shift to less precipitation than average in South Dakota in April, which raises drought worries in parts of the state.

April 10, 2016

1 Min Read

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center March 31, 2016 report calls for warm and dry conditions throughout South Dakota in the month ahead.

"There has been good consistency among the climate computer models in predicting warmer than average temperatures," says Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist. "That trend is continuing in April and projected to hold on through the growing season." 

Edwards added that seasonal climate trends and a strong El Nino also impact this climate forecast. "Over the winter and early spring season, the climate outlooks have been pretty accurate, particularly when it comes to the temperature projections," she said.

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Precipitation outlook
For April, the precipitation outlook across the region has shifted from equal chances of wetter or drier conditions, to leaning towards drier than average. All but the southwest corner of South Dakota is projected to have drier than average conditions.

"The impacts of this could be mixed, as fieldwork, spring planting, as well as recreational activities, are typically in full swing in April," Edwards says. "Warm and dry conditions could bode well for those who desire to work and play outdoors." 

Over the last couple of months, the U.S. Drought Monitor has gradually increased the area of Abnormally Dry (D0) in South Dakota based on that dryness. 

"A dry April could bring more awareness and concern for drought development, particularly in the northern and northeastern counties," Edwards says.

Source: SDSU Extension

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