North Dakota’s Drought Starting loosen It’s Grip Slightly
North Dakota's drought continues over much of the state.
75% of the state remains in an "Extreme Drought", the second highest level in the drought index. I know that doesn't sound particularly encouraging, however there is some improvement statewide, according the US Department of Agriculture's drought monitor map.
The "Exceptional Drought" category, the highest level category is shrinking.
Much of northcentral North Dakota was in this category, and it's now confined to small areas of Mclean, Sheridan, Ward and Golden Valley Counties. For most of the summer, northern parts of Burleigh were in this category.
There's even a very small part of the state that is no longer considered to be in a drought. That would be the very southeast of Richland County in southeast North Dakota.
The "Moderate Drought" category is also expending in southeast North Dakota counties.
This is the lowest level of the drought category. The "Severe Drought" category, which is the second lowest level of drought is expanding in southwest North Dakota. Including the counties of Sioux, Hettinger, Grant and Stark.
Although most of the rain that has fallen over the last month has done little for crops, it will at least help with fire concerns as we head into fall. Especially, with hunting seasons starting up.
More positive news, according to reports from the National Weather Service we are expecting to a more active weather pattern as we get into the end of September, October and November.
We're certainly not out of the woods yet, and we need a LOT more precipitation to make up for the past two years of deficits. However, there is reason for some optimism for the very first time in a long time. Fingers Crossed. Here's the latest drought monitor map.
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