South Dakota summer climate outlooks

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – New outlooks released for South Dakota for the rest of summer offer a mixed message based on outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center. New climate outlooks for the rest of the summer, as well as the new drought outlook, give few strong indications for temperature and precipitation.

“The new outlooks for July indicate equal chances for below and above average temperature and precipitation,” said Laura Edwards, SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist. “There are very mixed messages based on the variety of computer models and tools available about will be happening in July. Thus, the equal chances condition is indicated.”

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.

“Summertime precipitation is impacted much more by 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,” said State Climatologist, Dennis Todey.

Western and southwestern South Dakota still in moderate to severe drought

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 U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook map released on June 20. Much of southwestern South Dakota is projected to have drought persisting through September.

“After late May average precipitation begins to decrease,” said Todey. “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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