In this week's U.S. Drought Monitor, over 47% of South Dakota is now considered to be in moderate drought and just over 3% is in severe drought, according to Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension climate field specialist.
Nearly the entire state's, almost 96% of the total area, is in some state of drought or dry condition.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu, and updated each Thursday.
Two notable exceptions to the drought are the Watertown area and far northern Corson county, which have experienced close to average rainfall this season, she says.
The impacts of the drought are becoming visible. Corn and soybean growth has begun to slow down. Reports of leaf curling and other water stress in row crops have come in from many areas of eastern South Dakota. Stock dams and other water resources for livestock are lower than normal for this time of year. Grass and alfalfa cutting for hay has yielded less than normal amounts this year as well, at least in part due to drought.
Wildland fire activity in western South Dakota has also been above normal for this time of year. Grasses and other fuels have experienced significant growth over the last couple of years, with the last several months providing optimum conditions for curing those fuels and creating extreme fire danger in many areas.
Vermilion and Canton had their driest June on record. Menno, Sioux Falls and Yankton recorded their second driest June on record. None of these cities had more than an inch of rain in June. Climate reporting locations in the northwest, northeast, and southeast were the driest. Aberdeen, Belle Fourche and several other locations reported more than 2.25 inches below average rain for the month.
Several locations tied or set new June all-time high daily temperature records, including Martin, Edgemont, Rapid City, Lead and Hill City.
Nearly every climate reporting site reported above average temperature for the month, as much as eight degrees above average in the western part of the state. Most locations were two to six degrees above average for the month.
You can report drought impacts in your area. Visit http://droughtreporter.unl.edu for more information.