As I look out my office window this morning, I can finally start to see the impacts of the recent precipitation in the green grass coming up through last year's dead crop on the hills south of campus. Green up is here and the precipitation over the past week has really given things a boost.
I've been fielding quite a few questions over the past few days with respect to the moisture and the upcoming summer fire season. Will the moisture help diminish the fire activity this summer? What has the precipitation done to the drought? Will it be a dry summer? A hot summer? So here we go, a little blog to help answer some of these questions.
Yes, western SD has gotten a decent amount of precipitation over the past 2 weeks (below top). Note also how central and eastern SD have missed out on a lot of that precipitation. And if we look at it from the standpoint of percent of average, you can see that western SD has been anomalously wet while eastern SD is anomalously dry. (below bottom).
Note how conditions across the state are favoring warmer than average conditions while western SD also is likely to see drier than average conditions. Warm temperatures will increase evaporative demand which will pull the moisture out of the soil and transpiration will increase pulling water out of the plants. And if western SD is drier than average, we will start to see conditions deteriorate further during the month of June (again, another generally wet month for the state).