The US Drought Monitor update released today, July 27, 2017, continues to show Extreme to Exceptional Drought conditions in the Northern Plains.

July 27 2017 drought monitor

Unfortunately, even though this area did receive some rain in the past week, with rainfall amounts of generally 0.5 of an inch and less, it was not enough to make a difference. Thus, this week’s Drought Monitor update shows the same Drought levels or even worse in comparison to the Drought Monitor issued on July 18. The map below shows the comparison between the two updates. The gray shows areas of no change where the yellows show areas of worsening conditions.

US Drought Monitor change map compared to conditions on July 18 2017

Farmers and Ranchers in North and South Dakota, as well as Montana, are already feeling the impacts. The News & Observer on July 25 focused on the conditions in North Dakota. 

Topsoil moisture supplies statewide are rated 67 percent short or very short. Subsoil moisture is 62 percent in those categories.

In the ranching community, pasture and range conditions are rated 75 percent poor or very poor. Stock water supplies are 56 percent in those categories.

While we do have some rain in the forecast through next Wednesday, it likely will not be enough to offer much improvement.

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