New weather outlooks released for South Dakota indicate equal chances for below and above average temperatures and precipitation this summer.
"There are very mixed messages based on the variety of computer models and tools available about will be happening, says Laura Edwards, South Dakota State University extension climate field specialist.
In the 90 day outlooks, southwestern South Dakota has an increased chance for above average temperatures. Precipitation, as is often the case in the summer, is difficult to assess in the longer term outlooks, she says.
"Summertime precipitation is impacted much more local features and it is thus more difficult to forecast in the longer term. Climatologically, we expect monthly precipitation to fall off as we reach mid to late summer," says State Climatologist, Dennis Todey.
Drought conditions have been largely eliminated in the eastern part of South Dakota, while much of western South Dakota is still in moderate to severe drought. Chances for further improvement in drought in the western part of the state are limited, according to the most recent U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook map released recently. Much of southwestern South Dakota is projected to have drought persisting through September.
"After late May, average precipitation begins to decrease," Todey says.. "And with increased water use by growing plants during warmer conditions, soil moisture begins to be depleted faster. Thus, chances for further recovery become limited."
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