There’s still drought, but it’s significantly better after recent snowfall in The Hills

Snowy Hills
Snowy Hills(Jeffrey Lindblom)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:45 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Last week saw two large snow events that may have negatively impacted driving conditions, but lent a hand to improving this week’s drought monitor.

As of now, there are no extreme drought conditions in KOTA Territory.

Meteorologist, Eric Gardner, says the two storms dropped more than snow, it also dropped the drought monitor two categories in some areas, from extreme conditions to moderate.

He says the break from the dryness likely won’t last.

”I don’t see any big storms for the rest of October at all. Maybe a little bit of light rain here and there. Maybe we’ll get something in November, but as we get towards December and January chances of big storms gets lower here,” says Gardner.

Gardner adds that it could be the same through winter, because the seasonal outlook, which goes through December 31, is calling for below normal precipitation and above average temperatures, which would worsen drought conditions.

He says it doesn’t help that November and December are notoriously the second and third driest months in our area.

However, he says something positive with the recent storm systems is they did help with potential fire danger.

”I guess the thing that really impresses me, though, this has pretty much squelched the fire season. Chances of major wildfires getting out of control are quite a bit lower right now. Could change if we’re really dry and get some really warm days,” Gardner says, “but the chances of that are less and less.”

Gardner says although the moisture helped fire danger significantly, it can’t be entirely ruled out.

He added that Thursday Rapid City saw the coldest temperatures seen this season in the downtown area.

He said these freeze conditions could add to the fire danger since hard freezes kill a lot of vegetation.

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