September 2022 Climate Summary

September 2022 Climate Summary

Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming, Photo Courtesy of Gannon Rush

Warm and Dry Start to Fall

The first month of meteorological fall was disappointing for much of the region. Instead of bringing cooler temperatures and much-needed moisture, the trend of warm and dry conditions, unfortunately, dominated the region. The dryness that had been limited to Kansas and Nebraska spread into the Dakotas. Drought conditions rapidly spread across North Dakota in response to minimal precipitation.

Among the more interesting impacts of the drought this year occurred outside of Hays, Kansas. The nearby Ellis City Lake declared a public fish salvage in response to the extremely low water levels. With levels dangerously low, the fish are in danger of using oxygen too quickly. All catch limits and size rules on fish within the lake are removed, with any means of catch acceptable. The state of Kansas fears all the fish will die, resulting in them having to completely restart the aquatic population.

The dire situation in southeastern Kansas led to serious consequences for one town. The town of Caney declared a water emergency in mid-September in response to low well levels. Water usage for outdoor purposes is banned, with the potential for citations or disconnections for residents. This part of Kansas rapidly dried out in the summer months, with September offering no relief.

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature (left) and percent of normal precipitation (right) for September 2022 in the High Plains region. Maps
produced by the High Plains Regional Climate Center and are available at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Precipitation

Much of the High Plains was dry in September, with the majority of the Dakotas receiving less than an inch of precipitation. Drought-stricken areas in the western parts of Kansas and Nebraska received some precipitation, but not nearly enough to improve drought conditions.

After observing near-normal to above-normal precipitation for much of this year, North Dakota was nearly bone-dry in September. Dickinson observed their driest September on record, with a paltry 0.07 inches (1.78 mm) of precipitation. In South Dakota, Sisseton fared slightly better with 0.08 inches (2.03 mm) to rank 2nd driest. Aberdeen and Pierre recorded less than 0.15 inches (3.81 mm) in September to rank in the top 10 driest.

Looking further back, many locations in Kansas and Nebraska currently rank in the top 10 driest year-to-date. Arguably the driest place in the region is Garden City, Kansas. Only 5.01 inches (12.73 cm) of precipitation has fallen this year, nearly 2 inches (5.08 cm) below the previous record. In southwestern Nebraska, several locations are in the midst of their driest year-to-date. Most notably is Ogallala, which is the site of Lake McConaughy. Through the end of September, only a meager 5.74 inches (14.58 cm) of precipitation has been observed, well below the normal of 17.29 inches (43.92 cm).

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for September 2022. These maps are produced by HPRCC and can be found on the Current Climate Summary
Maps page at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Streamflow Update

Outside the areas impacted by drought, streamflow throughout the region was generally in good shape. Flooding continues along the James River in South Dakota resulted from heavy precipitation in previous months. Conditions in southwestern Nebraska and western Kansas continued to be much below normal. August runoff north of Sioux City was 62% of normal due to the long-term effects of drought.

Temperatures

September temperatures were well above-normal across the region, with numerous locations ranking in the top 10 warmest months on record. Much of the region experienced 2 to 4 degrees F (1.1 to 2.2 degrees C) above normal, while small areas of 6 to 8 degrees F (3.3 to 4.4 degrees C) above normal temperatures were also present.

The warmest areas in the region have been eastern Wyoming and western Nebraska for the past few months. This area experienced record to near-record warmth this summer, with the trend continuing into the beginning of fall. In Wyoming, Cheyenne, Laramie, and Rawlins all ranked 2nd warmest. While in Nebraska, Scottsbluff ranked 2nd, and Chadron Station Spotlight: Chadron, Nebraska Above: Daily temperatures for September 2022, along with extremes and normals values in Chadron, Nebraska. was the warmest on record with an average temperature of 67.7 degrees F (19.8 degrees C).

Colorado was also extremely warm this past month as well. Alamosa averaged 59.9 degrees F (15.5 degrees C) to rank warmest, while Denver ranked 3rd. Other locations such as Grand Junction, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs, also ranked in the top 5.

Above: Daily temperatures for September 2022, along with extremes and
normals values in Chadron, Nebraska.

Drought Conditions

Drought not only re-appeared but rapidly spread across North Dakota after a very dry month. Outside of areas in Colorado and Wyoming, there were minimal improvements. Overall, there was a 16 percent increase in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) this September. At the beginning of September, less than 1 percent of North Dakota was under drought conditions. By the end of the month, 72 percent of the state was experiencing drought. The lack of precipitation in the state in the past 60 days prompted the rapid expansion. Western Kansas has been the epicenter of the drought for most of the year for the state, but the southern part of the state has rapidly deteriorated in recent months. Currently, 25 percent of the state is in exceptional drought (D4). Elsewhere in the region, other improvements and degradation were observed. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for October, drought development is likely across parts of Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced as a joint effort of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Drought Mitigation
Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For current Drought Monitor
information, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Climate Outlooks

According to the Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to continue through the end of the year. A La Niña advisory is currently in effect. For more information, visit  https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf 

The National Weather Service’s long-range flood outlook indicates a low probability of Minor Flooding in eastern Kansas through December. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire potential will be limited across the region through next year.

The seasonal temperature and precipitation outlook presented below combine the effects of long-term trends, soil moisture, and when applicable, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). To learn more about these outlooks, please visit http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.  

Temperature

The three-month temperature outlook shows an increased chance of above-normal temperatures across the majority of the United States. Equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal are present in the Dakotas, otherwise, above-normal temperatures are favored.

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across central parts of the United States. Across the High Plains, there are equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal precipitation in the Dakotas and northern Wyoming. The rest of the region has increased chances of below-normal precipitation.

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on September 30th indicates drought conditions are expected to develop in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  

Station Summaries: By the Number

Download PDF Below

Missouri River Basin Summer Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlooks

Regional- Significant Events for June – August 2022

Highlights for the Basin

Rapid snowmelt caused by rain led to record flooding in Montana and parts of Yellowstone National Park from June 11th to 14th. Severe damage was inflicted to infrastructure after flows were nearly 192% of the previous record.


The drought-afflicted tri-state area (CO, KS, NE) and central Nebraska were arid in August, with near-record dryness across numerous locations. Nebraska and Kansas ranked 2nd and 7th driest for the month.


August was scorchingly hot in the northwestern part of the Basin after a prolonged heatwave impacted the area. Montana and Wyoming ranked 3rd and 6th warmest after departures of 8-10 degrees across both states in August.

Regional- Climate Overview for June – August 2022

Temperature and Precipitation Anomalies

Temperatures were above-normal for the majority of the Missouri River Basin, with the greatest departures in the western parts of Kansas and Nebraska. Temperatures in June and July were both above-normal throughout the region.
Numerous locations in the western portions of the basin observed their top five warmest summers, with only 2012 being hotter in some places.


Precipitation was above-normal in Colorado and parts of Wyoming due to the southwest monsoon, while other isolated pockets of near-normal precipitation were present in the basin. Much of Kansas and Nebraska were well below normal, resulting in the intensification of drought conditions in those states.

Departure from Normal Temperature (°F) (top)
and Percent of Normal Precipitation (bottom) for Winter 21-22

Changes in Drought Conditions

Drought conditions improved across Montana, western South Dakota, and northern Wyoming this summer, while persisting and degrading in Kansas and Nebraska. According to the Drought Monitor, exceptional drought (D4) encompasses over 10 percent of both states. The map above shows the areas of increasing and decreasing categories of drought.

June 7 – September 6, 2022

Regional- Impacts for June – August 2022

Agriculture

Agriculture in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska was severely impacted by drought this summer, with low to little yields expected in some areas. Many farmers have filed for crop insurance due to poor yields or chopped fields for silage. As of September 1st, sorghum yields in Kansas are projected to be 45 bushels per acre, down from 78 in 2021. Pasture conditions are in very poor shape, which has led to the culling of cattle herds. A heatwave in June led to numerous cattle deaths in southwestern Kansas, with thousands of cattle reported to have perished. Dryness in Montana and the Dakotas has led to grasshopper infestations across those states, impacting crops and pastures.

Stressed corn south of McCook, Nebraska, credit Kevin Rush
Aftermath of the Cedar Canyon fire near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, credit Gary Stone

Water Resources

Drought has taken its toll, with water resources stressed across the region. According to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, winter releases from Gavins Point Dam will be at minimum rates (12,000 cubic feet per second) to conserve water. Runoff improved slightly over the summer; however, it was not enough to overcome the persistent drought. Due to dryness and irrigation demand, the Platte River is dry in much of central and western Nebraska for the first time since 2012. The Sherman and Calamus irrigation reservoirs in central Nebraska have reached such low water levels that boat ramps are being closed.

Receding shoreline at Holmes Lake in Lincoln, Nebraska, credit Rezaul Mahmood

Regional- Outlook for October – December 2022

According to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the outlook for the upcoming season indicates increased chances of above-normal temperatures across much of the Missouri River Basin. Equal chances of above, below, and near-normal temperatures are favored in Montana and the Dakotas. Increased chances of below-normal precipitation are present throughout the lower basin, while above-normal precipitation is slightly favored for western Montana.


La Nina influences will continue through fall. Based on the outlooks, drought will continue across the basin. Drought development is likely across much of Colorado, eastern Kansas, and northwestern Nebraska.

Temperature

EC: Equal chances of above, near, or below normal
A: Above normal, B: Below normal

Precipitation

EC: Equal chances of above, near, or below normal
A: Above normal, B: Below normal

MO River Basin Partners

High Plains Regional Climate Center
www.hprcc.unl.edu
National Integrated Drought Information System
https://www.drought.gov/
NOAA NCEI
www.ncdc.noaa.gov
NOAA NWS – Central Region
www.weather.gov/crh
NOAA NWS Climate Prediction Center
www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov
NOAA NWS Missouri Basin River Forecast Center
www.weather.gov/mbrfc
American Association of State Climatologists
https://www.stateclimate.org/
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
https://www.usbr.gov/
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
www.nrcs.usda.gov
USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub
www.climatehubs.oce.usda.gov
Bureau of Indian Affairs – Great Plains Region
www.bia.gov/regional-offices/great-plains

National Drought Mitigation Center
http://drought.unl.edu/

Download PDF below

August 2022 Climate Summary

August 2022 Climate Summary

Dry Pasture in Western Kansas, Photo Courtesy of Kevin Rush

A Hot and Dry end to Summer

The summer of 2022 ended much like it began, with hot and dry conditions throughout the region. The resulting drought from these conditions and their effects has finally become clear, with numerous impacts on agriculture, livestock, and water resources. Kansas and Nebraska have taken the brunt of the drought, with conditions being as bad as 2012 in some places.

Agricultural conditions have steadily deteriorated over the summer in Kansas and Nebraska, particularly in the western parts of both states. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, corn that was rated poor to very poor reached 50 percent in Kansas and 34 percent in Nebraska. This marked a 17 and 12 percent increase since the end of July. Fields across western Kansas are being cut for silage or filed for crop insurance as a result of the poor conditions. Even drought-resistant sorghum was impacted, with over 50 percent of fields in both states rated as poor to very poor. Nearly 78 percent of pastures in Nebraska and 65 percent in Kansas are rated poor to very poor. With such poor grasses, farmers have struggled to find feed for their cattle, and feedlots in western Kansas have been importing silage from over 50 miles away

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature (left) and percent of normal precipitation (right) for August 2022 in the High Plains region. Maps
produced by the High Plains Regional Climate Center and are available at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Precipitation

Outside of the monsoon in the west, precipitation was spotty at best in August. The majority of Kansas and Nebraska were well below-normal this past month, further exacerbating the dire drought situation in both states.

The southwest monsoon brought beneficial precipitation to the western states, with locations such as Casper, Wyoming, and Alamosa, Colorado ranking in the top 5 wettest months on record. Sioux Falls, South Dakota, recorded their 8th wettest month with 6.88 inches (17.48 cm) of precipitation, with a large portion of this occurring during a record-breaking storm on the 7th. An incredible 5.44 inches (13.82 cm) of precipitation fell, setting a new daily precipitation record for August.

Nebraska was particularly dry, with numerous locations ranking in the top 10 driest. Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings, and Scottsbluff ranked in the top 10, with Grand Island and McCook placing 2nd driest. Not only was August dry for these locations, but also the entire summer. McCook observed their 2nd driest summer on record, with 3.37 inches (8.56 cm) of precipitation, which was slightly above the record of 3.31 inches (8.41 cm) set in 2012. Elsewhere in Nebraska, Norfolk and Scottsbluff recorded their 4th driest summers, with a dismal 1.98 inches (5.03 cm) of precipitation falling in Scottsbluff. Precipitation deficits continue to grow across the state, with areas over 10 inches below-normal since January 1st.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for August 2022. These maps are produced by HPRCC and can be found on the Current Climate Summary
Maps page at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Streamflow Update

Outside the areas impacted by drought, streamflow throughout the region was generally in good shape. Flooding continues along the James River in South Dakota resulting from heavy precipitation in previous months. Conditions in southwestern Nebraska and western Kansas continued to be much below normal. August runoff north of Sioux City was 62% of normal due to the long-term effects of drought.

Temperatures

Temperatures were above normal throughout not only August, but the entire summer. Much of the region was 2 to 4 °F (1.1 and 2.2 °C) above normal in August. Overall, most of the region was 2 to 3 °F (1.1 and 1.7 °C) above normal this summer. Numerous locations across the region ranked in the top 10 warmest Augusts and summers.

Much above-normal temperatures were present in Wyoming and western Nebraska in August. Scottsbluff, Nebraska observed its warmest month on record, with an average temperature of 77 °F (25 °C). Nearby Chadron ranked second, as did both Cheyenne and Rawlins in Wyoming. Also in Wyoming, Sheridan Station Spotlight: Scottsbluff, Nebraska Above: Daily temperatures for August 2022, along with extremes and normals values in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. and Laramie ranked 3rd warmest on record.

The same area also recorded among the warmest summers on record. Cheyenne experienced its hottest summer on record, with an average temperature of 70.6 °F (21.4 °C). Scottsbluff ranked 2nd and Laramie ranked 3rd warmest. The oppressive heat this summer was not limited to just this area, however, with several locations in Colorado and Nebraska also observing their 3rd warmest summer on record.

This past summer had some extremely warm temperatures, which is reflected in the number of heat advisories issued by the National Weather Service. Kansas led the way, with 103 advisories issued throughout the state this summer

Above: Daily temperatures for August 2022, along with extremes and
normals values in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Drought Conditions

The southwest monsoon brought drought relief to Colorado and parts of Wyoming, while the rest of the region continued the trend of dryness and above-normal temperatures. Overall, there was a 7 percent increase in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought in August. After several months of being drought-free, D1 was re-introduced in North Dakota.

After an entire summer of near-record heat and dry weather, extreme to exceptional (D3D4) conditions have become entrenched across southwestern Nebraska and western Kansas. This has taken a significant toll on agriculture, with poor crop conditions and impacts on livestock. In the eastern parts of both states, drought conditions were introduced and slowly began to spread. On the other hand, an above-normal amount of precipitation due to the southwest monsoon improved drought conditions in Colorado with D1-D4 reduced by 33 percent compared to the beginning of the month. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for September, drought development is likely across parts of Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced as a joint effort of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Drought Mitigation
Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For current Drought Monitor
information, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Climate Outlooks

According to the Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to continue through the end of the year. A La Niña advisory is currently in effect. For more information, visit  https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf 

The National Weather Service’s long-range flood outlook indicates a high probability of Minor Flooding in northeastern South Dakota through November. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire potential will be limited across the region through December.

The seasonal temperature and precipitation outlook presented below combine the effects of long-term trends, soil moisture, and when applicable, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). To learn more about these outlooks, please visit http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.  

Temperature

The three-month temperature outlook shows an increased chance of above-normal temperatures across the majority of the United States. Equal chances of above-, below-, and near normal are present in the Dakotas, otherwise, above-normal temperatures are favored.

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across central parts of the United States. Across the High Plains, there are equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal precipitation in the Dakotas and northern Wyoming. The rest of the region has increased chances of below-normal precipitation. 

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on September 15th indicates drought conditions are expected to improve in southern Colorado and Kansas. Opposite of this, drought development is likely in parts of Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas.  

Station Summaries: By the Number

Download PDF Below

Tool Spotlight – Spatial Climate Analysis

Click here to start using Spatial Climate Analysis

Spatial Climate Analysis is HPRCC’s latest way to explore data from the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS)! The web application offers several pathways for users to analyze data from ACIS stations and grid points, while providing an easy to use map interface.

Let’s take a closer look at the tool!

On the left side of the screen is a panel that lets you customize the map, and access different tools. The Product, Timescale, and Plot Style options change the ACIS data being displayed on the map. The Grid Point Inspector checkbox will enable the selection crosshair for analyzing grid points.

The Other Layers section contains other overlays which may be useful. The county overlay will only work when the map is zoomed in enough!

Any overlays that have been selected will have a legend entry added in the legend section.

The map panel displays all information selected in the left sidebar. You can click and drag to pan the map, or use the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in or out. The button at the upper right of the map will allow you to change the map in the background!

Hover over station points to view their values, or click them to open the station in the Station Data Explorer. There, you can create linkable graphs with the station data.

Enabling the Grid Point Inspector will change your cursor in the map to a crosshair. Click any location of interest to open the Grid Point Inspector!

In the Grid Point Inspector, you can create linkable graphs for any grid location in the contiguous U.S.!

As always, feel free to use the Contact Us page to ask questions or tell us how you are using HPRCC tools. You can also find us on Twitter @HPClimateCenter !

Explore Spatial Climate Analysis

July 2022 Climate Summary

July 2022 Climate Summary

Silage Harvest in Kansas, Photo Courtesy of Gannon Rush

Hot and Dry Conditions Continue into July

The hot and dry conditions that started at the end of June carried over into July. Temperatures were well above normal for much of the month before finally cooling off. While precipitation was spotty, the amounts were plentiful in areas that received it.


The ongoing drought has taken its toll on agricultural conditions, particularly in Kansas and Nebraska. Corn was rated 33 percent and 22 percent poor to very poor, respectively. Farmers in western Kansas have started filing for crop insurance due to poor expected yields. Sorghum is a fairly drought-resistant crop, however, over 30 percent is rated poor to very poor in both states. Pasture and range conditions are also struggling, with over 30 percent rated very poor in both states. With a lack of feed, there has been a surge in cattle sell-offs.


Temperatures this month were excruciatingly hot, with several locations in the southern part of the region breaking all-time average temperature records. The following stations all have data going back to the 1800s. In Colorado, Castle Rock and Fort Collins surpassed their records on the 19th, while Fort Morgan did so on the 2nd. Scottsbluff, Nebraska broke its record on the 18th and Dodge
City had an average temperature of 94.5 degrees (34.7 degrees C) on the 15th to tie the record.

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature (left) and percent of normal precipitation (right) for July 2022 in the High Plains region. Maps
produced by the High Plains Regional Climate Center and are available at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Precipitation

Precipitation across the region was sporadic this month, however, locations that did receive rainfall in July were well above-normal. Drought-afflicted areas such as southwestern Nebraska and western Kansas continued to be below normal.


Precipitation was plentiful in the northern parts of the region, with several locations ranking in the top 10 wettest Julys. Huron, South Dakota, received 6.52 inches (16.56 cm) ranking 2nd wettest, while Dickinson,
North Dakota, recorded 4.39 inches (11.15 cm) to place 4th. The southwest monsoon brought much-needed precipitation, with 5.35 inches (13.59 cm) observed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to rank 5th wettest.


It was a relatively quiet month for severe storms for the region, aside from another derecho in South Dakota on the 5th of July. Much of the precipitation in Huron occurred from this storm, with 5 inches (12.7 cm) re- ported by a nearby CoCoRaHS observer. Notable impacts included a 99 mph (159 km/h) wind gust near Howard and the presence of ominous green skies over Sioux Falls.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for July 2022. These maps are produced by HPRCC and can be found on the Current Climate Summary
Maps page at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Streamflow Update

Streamflow throughout the region was generally in good shape. Heavy precipitation led conditions in northeastern South Dakota and eastern North Dakota to have much above normal streamflow with some flooding expected. Conditions in southwestern Nebraska and western Kansas continued to be much below normal. Annual runoff above Sioux City is 80% percent of normal due to the long-term effects of drought.

Temperatures

The trend of above-normal temperatures continued into July. Much of the region experienced temperatures 2 to 4 degrees F (1.1 and 2.2 degrees C) above normal. Temperatures were scorching hot throughout most of July, with relief finally coming towards the end of the month.  

Once again, western Kansas experienced the warmest temperatures throughout the region. Many days were well above 100 degrees (56 degrees C), with a station near Ashland recording 20 days above 100 degrees F. In central South Dakota, temperatures reached an incredible 114 degrees F (63 degrees C) on the 18th.   

Along the front range of the Rockies, Denver recorded its 2nd warmest July and the 2nd warmest month on record. The average temperature in July was 78 degrees F (43 degrees C). Nearby Cheyenne, Wyoming, observed their 4th warmest July on record with an average temperature of 73.4 degrees F (40.8 degrees C). This also ranked as the 4th warmest month on record. 

Above: Daily temperatures for July 2022, along with extremes and
normals values in Ashland, Kansas.

Drought Conditions

Warm and dry conditions throughout much of the month led to the intensification of drought conditions in the southern part of the region. Overall, there was a 3 percent increase in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought in July. North Dakota continues to remain drought-free. 

Numerous days of extreme heat and a lack of precipitation led to a significant increase in drought conditions across western Kansas. Most notably, D4 increased 7 percent by the end of July and 25 percent of the state is experiencing extreme to exceptional (D3-D4) drought. Nebraska and Wyoming also experienced intensification, with D3 conditions increasing 5 and 3 percent, respectively. Drought conditions did improve in the southwestern parts of Colorado, however, they deteriorated along the Front Range. Elsewhere in the region, other improvements and degradation were observed. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for August, drought improvement is likely across much of Colorado, western Kansas, and southern Wyoming, while development is likely in eastern Nebraska. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced as a joint effort of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Drought Mitigation
Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For current Drought Monitor
information, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Climate Outlooks

According to the Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to continue through the end of the year. A La Niña advisory is currently in effect. For more information, visit  https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf 

The National Weather Service’s long-range flood outlook indicates a high chance of Major Flooding in northeastern South Dakota through September. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire potential will be limited to western Nebraska, western South Dakota, and eastern Wyoming through November.  

The seasonal temperature and precipitation outlook presented below combine the effects of long-term trends, soil moisture, and when applicable, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). To learn more about these outlooks, please visit http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.  

Temperature

The three-month temperature outlook shows an increased chance of above-normal temperatures across the majority of the United States. Equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal are present in North Dakota and northern South Dakota, otherwise, above-normal temperatures are favored. 

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across central parts of the United States. Across the High Plains there are equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal precipitation in North Dakota. The rest of the region has increased chances of below-normal precipitation. 

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on June 30th indicates drought conditions are expected to improve in Colorado and southern Wyoming. Opposite of this, drought development is likely in parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.   

Station Summaries: By the Number

Download PDF Below

June 2022 Climate Summary

June 2022 Climate Summary

Grand Teton National Park, Photo Courtesy of Rezaul Mahmood

Warm and Dry Conditions Prevailed

Summer-like conditions took hold in the High Plains towards the middle of the month, with above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation across the region. Drought conditions initially were improving towards the beginning of the month due to cool temperatures and above-normal precipitation, however, the prevailing hot and dry conditions led to intensification at the end of the month.


Temperatures were extremely hot in western Kansas this month, which led to many cattle deaths. A rapid increase in temperatures from 80 degrees F (26.7 degrees C) on the 9th to 104 degrees F (40 degrees C) on the 11th led over 2,000 cattle to perish. This extreme swing combined with other factors such as high
overnight temperatures and minimal wind did not give time for cattle to adjust to conditions or to cool off.


Hailstorms were an issue for Nebraska this month, with the state having several destructive storms early in the month. Crops have been ravaged by the storms, while millions of dollars in damage has been caused to homes and vehicles. Two towns in the central part of the state have nearly 90 to 100 percent of homes significantly damaged. The most damaging storm was on the 14th when 115 mph (185 km/h) wind-driven hail of 1 to 3 inches impacted cities across the eastern portions of the state.


Heavy precipitation in northern Wyoming and the rapid melting of snowpack led to record flooding in Yellowstone National Park. Bridges and roads were washed out, while several homes were swept away by the waters. The
damage caused the park to close for over a week, with only the southern entrances reopened by the end of the month.

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature (left) and percent of normal precipitation (right) for June 2022 in the High Plains region. Maps
produced by the High Plains Regional Climate Center and are available at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Precipitation

June precipitation was well below-normal for many
parts of the region, most notably in Wyoming and western Nebraska. Contrary to this, the Southwest monsoon season began early this year, with much-needed precipitation in the southern and western parts of Colorado.


Much of Wyoming received less than an inch (25.4 mm)
of precipitation this month, with the central part of the state nearly bone dry. Lander recorded trace amounts of precipitation which ties both 1956 and 1971 for driest on record. Nearby, Casper received 0.21 inches (5.34 mm) to rank 7th driest. This dryness stretched into western Nebraska, with North Platte and Chadron ranking 2nd and 3rd driest, after 0.43 and 0.84 inches (10.92 and 21.34 mm) of precipitation, respectively.


Precipitation in South Dakota was mixed, with both the top 10 driest and wettest months recorded in the state. In the northeastern part of the state, Sisseton and Aberdeen ranked 4th and 6th driest, respectively. In the central part of the state, however, Pierre observed their 6th wettest June on
record, with 6.34 inches (16.10 cm) of precipitation.


Severe weather was near normal to slightly above average for the region in terms of warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Large hail was observed on numerous days across the region, with several days having reports of 4-inch (10.16 cm) plus diameter hail. A dangerous storm in Nebraska on the 11th dropped extremely large hailstones in the 5-inch (12.7 cm) range.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for June 2022. These maps are produced by HPRCC and can be found on the Current Climate Summary
Maps page at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Streamflow Update

Upper Missouri River Basin mountain snowpack completely melted in June. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Water Management Division announced that they will increase the navigation flow level, with the releases from Gavins Point being adjusted. Streamflows in drought-afflicted areas such
as western Kansas and Nebraska were near record lows. However, streamflows fared much better in North Dakota and the eastern portions of South Dakota and Kansas, where precipitation has been more plentiful.

Temperatures

June was warm for much of the region, with several locations observing their top 10 warmest months on record. This was particularly noticeable during
the middle of the month when numerous temperature records were broken across the region. Towards the beginning of the month, several daily low records were broken in the western part of the region.

Temperatures were well above normal in eastern South Dakota this past month. Sisseton recorded its 3rd warmest month with temperatures averaging 73.6 degrees F (23. 1 degrees C), while Sioux Falls ranked 10th with an average temperature of 72.5 degrees F (22.5 degrees C). In western Nebraska, McCook and North Platte ranked in the top 10 with numerous warm days.


The heat wave in the middle of the month led to scorching hot temperatures. Atwood, Kansas observed a high temperature of 111 degrees F (43.9 degrees C) while McCook, Nebraska recorded a high of 109 degrees F (42.8 degrees C) on the 14th. Several locations in western Kansas observed over ten days of 100-degree F (37.8 degrees C) plus temperatures.

Above: Daily temperatures for June 2022, along with extremes and
normals values in Sisseton, South Dakota.

Drought Conditions

A wet start to the month led to improvements, however, dry and windy conditions prevailed towards the end. The High Plains region observed a 6 percent decrease in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) drought in June.
North Dakota remained drought-free the entire month.


The monsoon season began in the southwest towards
the end of the month, leading to improvements in Colorado. Severe drought (D2) was reduced by 12 percent due to this beneficial precipitation. South Dakota and Wyoming observed a 25 percent reduction to D1 after
receiving above-normal precipitation. Conditions improved slightly in southwestern Kansas, however, D4 remained entrenched in the area. A large swath of extreme drought (D3) was introduced at the end of the month along the Colorado and Nebraska border. Elsewhere in the region, other improvements and degradation were observed. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for July, drought conditions are likely to develop in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced as a joint effort of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Drought Mitigation
Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For current Drought Monitor
information, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Climate Outlooks

According to the Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to continue through the end of the year. A La Niña advisory is currently in effect. For more information, visit https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_ monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf


The National Weather Service’s long-range flood outlook through July indicates a high chance of Major Flooding in northeastern South Dakota through August. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire potential will be limited through October.


The seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks presented below combine the effects of long-term trends,
soil moisture, and when applicable, the El Niño Southern Oscillation cycle (ENSO). To learn more about these
outlooks, please visit http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

Temperature

The three-month temperature outlook shows an increased chance of above-normal temperatures across the majority of the United States. The entire High Plains region has increased chances of above-normal temperatures, with Colorado notably favored.

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across central parts of the United States. Across the High Plains there are equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal precipitation in Colorado and Wyoming. The rest of the region has increased chances of below-normal precipitation.

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on June 30th indicates drought conditions are expected to remain with development likely in parts of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

Station Summaries: By the Number

Download PDF Below

May 2022 Climate Summary

May 2022 Climate Summary

Struggling Kansas Winter Wheat, Photo Courtesy of Gerry Tally

Drought Finally Began to Improve

May ended on a high note for many places in the High Plains, with much-needed precipitation arriving.

Another derecho impacted the region on the 12th of May, with 67 reports of 75+ mph (121 km/h). This surpassed the event on December 15th of last year and broke the record for the most significant wind gusts in one day. Notable impacts include a 105 mph (169 km/h) wind gust recorded near Tripp, South Dakota and 13 tornadoes in the state. Unfortunately, there were three deaths from this event.

On the same day, a very rare haboob crossed through Nebraska and South Dakota. Haboobs are walls of dust in front of thunderstorms resulting from high downdraft speeds. This led to low visibility and near blackout conditions. A state of emergency was declared in South Dakota to help those impacted by the storms. Despite temperatures near normal for the region, an unseasonable heat wave led to many broken daily records. Between May 8th and 14th, 267 high maximum temperature and 453 high minimum temperature records were broken, for a total of 720 records (minimum of 30 years of data). Every state recorded at least one record, with Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska primarily impacted

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature and percent of normal precipitation for May 2022 in the High Plains region. Maps
produced by the High Plains Regional Climate Center and are available at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current .

Precipitation

Precipitation for the region was mixed. Some parts of the region such as eastern Kansas were well above-normal, while areas such as southwest South Dakota were well below-normal. Several locations in Kansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota observed their top 10 wettest months on record.

Eastern Kansas was extremely wet in May, with multiple rounds of storms occurring. Wichita observed its 2nd wettest month on record, with 12.95 inches (32.89 cm) of precipitation. Topeka observed their 3rd wettest, and Salina recorded their 4th wettest month on record, with 11.68 and 8.72 inches (29.67 cm and 22.15 cm), respectively. In North Dakota, Williston and Grand Forks observed the 3rd and 5th wettest on record. Aberdeen, South Dakota also ranked in the top 10 wettest. Back-to-back months of above-normal precipitation have led to serious flooding issues along the Red River in North Dakota.  Near the Canadian border, river levels crested at 52.27 feet (15.93 meters) on May 8th. This was well above the flood stage of 39 feet (11.89 meters) for that location. The flooding and heavy precipitation have led to significant issues for agriculture, with planting well behind the normal schedule.

Overall, severe weather was less active than normal throughout the region, except for South Dakota. During May, there were 108 more than the average (2002-2022) severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings issued in South Dakota. In contrast, Kansas was 155 warnings below the average for May. There were numerous reports of large hail this month, but a storm on the 29th was particularly dangerous. In central Nebraska, a storm over Loup County had several reports of 5-inch (12.7 cm) hail with unconfirmed reports of hailstones in the 6-inch (15.24 cm) range.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for May 2022. These maps are produced by HPRCC and can be found on the Current Climate Summary
Maps page at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current.

Snowpack Update

Upper Missouri River Basin mountains began to melt in May. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as of May 30, Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) above Fort Peck Reservoir is currently at 8.1 inches (20.57 cm) which is 60% of the average (1981-2010). The reach between Fort Peck and Garrison Reservoirs is currently 9.0 inches (22.86 cm) which is 67% of the average (1981-2010). SWE was near or above median in most Wyoming basins. In Colorado, SWE was nearly melted in the southwest.

Temperatures

Temperatures for the month of May were near-normal throughout the region, with pockets of below-normal observed in Wyoming. Despite the near-normal temperatures, there were large swings present during the month. Hundreds of daily high and low temperatures were broken during the heat wave in Mid-May.  Every state in the region broke either a high maximum temperature or high minimum temperature. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Wyoming broke 73 low maximum or low minimum temperature records during this period.

Below-normal temperatures in Wyoming led to one location ranking in the top 10 coldest on record. The city of Casper observed their 8th coldest month on record, with an average temperature of 48.3 degrees F (9.1 degrees C). Several other locations in Wyoming came close to being in the top 10 due to the cooler temperatures this month.

The near normal to cooler than normal temperatures have also been beneficial in the prevention of intensifying drought conditions. Many areas in eastern Wyoming and southwestern South Dakota observed well below normal precipitation this month, however, the temperatures helped prevent a significant expansion of drought conditions.

Above: Daily temperatures for May 2022, along with extremes and
normals values in Casper, Wyoming.

Drought Conditions

Across the region, drought conditions improved in May as a result of beneficial precipitation. The High Plains region observed a 14 percent decrease in severe to exceptional (D2-D4) drought, there was also a 10 percent increase in areas that are not in any drought or abnormally dry conditions.

After back-to-back months of well above-normal precipitation, North Dakota is now drought-free. Currently, only 12 percent of the state is in abnormally dry (D0) conditions. Conditions in South Dakota and Wyoming also improved significantly, with extreme drought (D3) and D2 reduced by 30 and 36 percent, respectively. While eastern Kansas is nearly free of drought, the western part of the state observed a 12 percent increase in D3 and D4 conditions. Colorado also recorded an 11 percent increase in D3-D4 conditions. Elsewhere in the region, other improvements and degradation were observed. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for June, improvements in drought conditions are likely across South Dakota, northern Wyoming, eastern Nebraska, and central Kansas.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced as a joint effort of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Drought Mitigation
Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For current Drought Monitor
information, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Climate Outlooks

According to the Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to continue into the summer. A La Niña advisory is currently in effect. For more information, visit  https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

The National Weather Service’s long-range flood outlook through August indicates a high chance of minor flooding across eastern South Dakota and the lower basin in June. This will decrease over the next three months. There is a high risk of Major Flooding in northeastern South Dakota. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire potential will be limited in June but expand across the entire region in July and August.

The seasonal temperature and precipitation outlook presented below combine the effects of long-term trends, soil moisture, and when applicable, the El Niño Southern Oscillation cycle (ENSO). To learn more about these outlooks, please visit http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

Temperature

The three-month temperature outlook shows an increased chance of above-normal temperatures across the majority of the United States. In the High Plains, North Dakota has equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal temperatures. Meanwhile, the rest of the region has increased chances of above-normal temperatures with Colorado heavily favored.

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across the majority of the western United States. Across the High Plains there are equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal precipitation in eastern North Dakota and northeastern South Dakota. The rest of the region has increased chances of below-normal precipitation.

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on May 31st indicates drought conditions are expected to remain with development likely in eastern Nebraska, central Colorado, and eastern Wyoming.

Station Summaries: By the Number

Download PDF below

April 2022 Climate Summary

April 2022 Climate Summary

Kansas Winter Wheat Field, Photo Courtesy of Gannon Rush

Drought in the Southern Plains and Blizzards in the North

April was the ‘tale of two cities’ in the High Plains. Grand Forks, North Dakota was among the wettest and coldest on record, while Colorado Springs, Colorado was among the warmest and driest on record. The northern states experienced well below normal temperatures and multiple blizzards, while the southern states remained dry and dealt with wildfires.


Several blizzards tracked through North Dakota during the month, including the historic blizzard from April 12th to 14th. The heavy snowfall combined with gusts up to 60 mph (96.56 km/h) led to drifts up to 8 feet tall. Among the highest snowfall amounts was a report of 36.0 inches (91.44 cm) outside of Minot. The highest verified amount was 29.5 inches (74.93 cm) outside Dunn Center. With such high winds, it is hard to accurately measure snowfall. Another blizzard struck the same areas late in the month, with snowfall up to 18.0 inches (45.72 cm).


Wildfires were an issue in the southern portion of the region, particularly in Nebraska. Two large fires broke out during the month, which led to two deaths and several towns to be evacuated. The first fire broke out near Arapahoe, with nearly 35,000 acres burned over several days. Later in the month, another fire broke out nearby which burned over 44,000 acres. Several other fires occurred in Colorado during the month, particularly in areas that were extremely dry this month.


Another interesting impact of the ongoing drought was the reduction of hunting permits available for pronghorn and mule deer in Wyoming. Due to the dryness, food sources of these animals are impacted. As a result, permits were reduced to conserve populations this year. Animal populations were already low from the previous year, with the mule deer population only 61 percent of the statewide goal.

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature and percent of normal precipitation for April 2022 in the High Plains region. Maps
produced by the High Plains Regional Climate Center and are available at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current .

Precipitation

Precipitation for the High Plains in March was sharply divided. The northern part of the region was above to well above-normal, while the southern parts were below-normal. Several locations in North Dakota were among the wettest on record, in contrast to multiple places in the southern portions ranking among the driest. The above-normal precipitation in North Dakota helped improve drought conditions, while the dryness in the south only exacerbated drought conditions.

Several blizzards in North Dakota led both Fargo and Grand Forks to rank as their second wettest April on record. Both locations observed over 5 inches (12.70 cm) of precipitation for the month. Bismarck recorded their snowiest April on record with 21.9 inches (55.63 cm) of snow falling while also ranking 10th wettest. Along the front range of the Rockies, conditions were dry. In Colorado, Akron and Colorado Springs both observed their driest month on record with minimal precipitation falling. Several locations with eastern Wyoming, western Kansas, and western Nebraska also ranked among the driest Aprils on record.


It was an active month for severe weather across the region, with multiple days of severe weather. Most notably on the 29th, several storms impacted Kansas and Nebraska. Both Kansas and Nebraska reported 4-inch (10.16 cm) hailstones, while an impressive 91 mph (146.45 km/h) wind gust was recorded outside Davenport, Nebraska. On the same day, a high end EF-3 tornado tracked through Andover, Kansas causing significant damage and leading to 3 injuries.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for April 2022. These maps are produced by HPRCC and can be found on the Current Climate Summary
Maps page at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current.

Snowpack Update

Snowpack at the end of April was above normal for the Upper Missouri River Basin mountains. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as of April 24, Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) above Fort Peck Reservoir is currently at 14.2 inches (36.07 cm) which is 92% of the average (1981-2010). The reach between Fort Peck and Garrison Reservoirs is currently 13.3 inches (33.78 cm) which is 95% of the average (1981-2010). SWE was near or above median in most Wyoming basins. In Colorado, SWE was well below normal in the southwestern basins.

Temperatures

Cooler temperatures were present throughout much of the region this month, with well below normal temperatures in the northern states. Multiple locations in the north ranked among the coldest months on record.


In addition to the heavy snowfall across North Dakota, temperatures were also well below normal for the state. Grand Forks ranked 2nd coldest month on record, with an average temperature of 31.8 degrees F (-0.1 degrees C) which is below freezing. Dickinson, North Dakota, and Sisseton, South Dakota also both recorded their 3rd coldest April on record. A number of locations in North Dakota, South Dakota, and
Wyoming observed a top 10 coldest months on record.


Opposite of the cooler temperatures to the north, the southern part of the region experienced above-normal temperatures. Temperatures skyrocketed on the 22nd and 23rd, with areas in Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska exceeding 90 degrees F (32.2 degrees C). The highest
temperature of 101 degrees F (38.3 degrees C) was recorded southwest of North Platte, Nebraska on April 23rd. High winds were once again present during these two days, which led to fire issues. The Strom Prediction Center issued several extremely critical fire days during the month during these hot and windy periods

Above: Daily temperatures for April 2022, along with extremes and
normals values in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Drought Conditions

Dryness continues in the southern parts of the region, while the northern parts received normal to above-normal precipitation. Drought conditions improved significantly in North Dakota and parts of South Dakota after the recent snowstorms, while Kansas and Nebraska remained dry.


The dryness across the western parts of both Nebraska and Kansas led to widespread expansion of extreme drought (D3). Nearly 20 percent of both states are in D3 at the end of April. Some precipitation fell in the drought-stricken areas towards the end of the month, which should improve conditions. Severe drought (D2) also greatly expanded across eastern Colorado towards the end of the month, with many areas receiving well below 25 percent of their normal precipitation. Contrary to the dryness, the northern parts of the region have observed above-normal precipitation. Drought conditions improved one to two classes across the western Dakotas and northern Wyoming. Elsewhere in the region, other improvements and degradation were
observed. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for May, improvements in drought conditions are likely across South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and northeastern Wyoming.

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced as a joint effort of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Drought Mitigation
Center, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For current Drought Monitor
information, please see: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Climate Outlooks

According to the Climate Prediction Center, La Niña conditions are likely to continue into the summer. A La Niña advisory is currently in effect. For more information,
visit https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_
monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf


The National Weather Service’s long-range flood outlook through July indicates a high chance of minor flooding across eastern South Dakota and the lower basin in May. This will decrease over the next three months. There is a high risk of Major Flooding in northeastern South Dakota and central North Dakota. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), fire potential will be limited
in May and June but expand across the entire region by July.


The seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks presented below combine the effects of long-term trends, soil moisture, and when applicable, the El Niño Southern Oscillation cycle (ENSO). To learn more about these outlooks, please visit http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

Temperature

The three-month temperature outlook shows an increased chance of above-normal temperatures across the majority of the United States. In the High Plains, North Dakota and northeastern South Dakota have equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal temperatures. Meanwhile, the rest of the region has increased chances of above-normal temperatures with Colorado heavily favored.

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across the majority of the western United States. Across the High Plains there are equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal precipitation in North Dakota and northern South Dakota. The rest of the region has increased chances of below-normal precipitation.

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on April 30th indicates drought conditions are expected to remain but conditions improve across the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas. Conditions are expected
to persist across Colorado and Wyoming with development likely in the central parts of the states.

Above: The three-month temperature probability outlook (top), the
three-month precipitation probability outlook (middle), and the U.S.
Seasonal Drought Outlook (bottom). For more information on these
outlooks, produced by the Climate Prediction Center, see:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

Station Summaries: By the Number

Download PDF below

April Top 10 Monthly Rankings

WarmestTemperature / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Colorado Springs, CO 51.6 / 8th warmest 53.8 / 19811894 – 2022
Coldest Temperature / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Grand Forks, ND 31.8 / 2nd coldest 29.7 / 1950 1893 – 2022
Sisseton, SD 38.6 / 3rd coldest36.1 / 20181931 – 2022
Dickinson, ND33.7 / 3rd coldest 32.0 / 1950 1938 – 2022
Casper, WY37.6 / 5th coldest34.9 / 1997+1939 – 2022
Fargo, ND 34.9 / 8th coldest (tied with 1956)33.0 / 18931881 – 2022
Rapid City, SD39.7 / 9th coldest 36.7 / 20131942 – 2022
Pierre, SD42.4 / 10th coldest 37.6 / 20131893 – 2022
Precipitation Precipitation / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Akron, CO0.03 / DRIEST0.27 / 20221937 – 2022 
Colorado Springs, CO 0.01 / DRIEST (tied with 1964)1894 – 2019
Goodland, KS0.04 / 3rd driest T / 1963 1895 – 2022
Cheyenne, WY 0.20 / 3rd driest 0.17 / 1880 1871 – 2022
Denver, CO 0.06 / 3rd driest 0.03 / 19631872 – 2022
McCook, NE0.15 / 4th driestT / 19241894 – 2022
Laramie, WY 0.28 / 5th driest 0.20 / 1966 1948 – 2022
Salina, NE0.64 / 6th driest 0.21 / 1937 1948 – 2022
Scottsbluff, NE 0.42 / 10th driest0.19 / 19281893 – 2022
Grand Forks, ND 5.47 / 2nd wettest 5.59 / 18861893 – 2022
Fargo, ND 5.45 / 2nd wettest5.49 / 1886 1881 – 2022
Bismarck, ND3.53 / 10th wettest 5.71 / 18781874 – 2022
All data are preliminary and subject to change. + indicates multiple dates, latest date listed. * indicates some missing data for the period.
Data are retrieved through the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS) and are available online through the CLIMOD system.
For more information please contact us: http://www.hprcc.unl.edu/contact.php

Tool Spotlight – Water Deficit Trends

The High Plains Regional Climate Center is happy to announce that the new web application, Water Deficit Trends, is available for public preview! Users can analyze precipitation trends across the country. View current drought and precipitation data and trends, alongside current drought monitor information and USGS stream flows.

Access Water Deficit Trends here: https://hprcc.unl.edu/wdt/ Click the red question mark for help when you open the application.

Please Note: While we are excited to begin offering access to this new product, the full six month trend window will not be available until September 2022.

Using the Map Interface

The main interface of Water Deficit Trends

When you first open Water Deficit Trends, you will see a web map with colored shapes, and a side bar with different options. The data points plotted on the map are selected by the “Variables” panel, and the trend range allows you to select a week to compare today’s variable to. For example, by default, the panel has selected the 30 day Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), and a “Trend Range” of 1 week. This will show the latest 30 day SPI values on the map, and the shape of the point will indicate whether the latest value is greater, less, or the same as the value 1 week ago. This can provide a quick glance at areas that may be experiencing drought improvement! Each data point can be hovered over to see the latest value, and clicking will open the Trend Analysis Panel for the station (more on that below).

The layers panel lists additional layers that may be overlaid. The latest US Drought Monitor may be plotted, rivers, River Forecast Center boundaries, and County Warning Areas are all included!

If you select the USGS Gages layer, a dropdown will be displayed which allows you to select a HUC region. All USGS gages with height and/or streamflow will be displayed, with the color estimating the flood stage. Please note that HPRCC provides the  flood stage for assistance in analyzing long-range precipitation trends and identifying areas of interest. Accurate information regarding floods can be obtained through the appropriate River Forecast Center.

Clicking a USGS Gage will display a pop-up bubble that shows the station ID and a graph from either the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, or the USGS National Water Information System (The graph can take a few seconds to load). Clicking the graph will open a larger version for USGS plots, or to the station page for AHPS plots.

The USGS Gages layer shows the current state and values of gages

Hovering over the layers icon in the upper-left of the map will reveal additional settings for the map. You can change the base map, or look at some layers provided through NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System.

Additional layers can be found by hovering over the layers icon in the upper-left of the map

Trend Analysis Panel

Any data points for the layer you selected in the Variables panel are clickable, and will open the Trend Analysis Panel.

The Trend Analysis Panel opens with the Graph Tab

The graph tab shows a weekly graph with average temperature, precipitation, SPI, and SPEI. Each variable plotted is either a 30, 60, or 90 day value depending on the timescale selected in the dropdown at the bottom left of the graph. The Number of weeks dropdown sets the number of weeks displayed on the graph.

At the top of the graph, the date of each week is displayed, with the U.S. Drought Monitor status for that week displayed below the date.

The Table tab shows a data table of the values plotted on the graph. The table can be downloaded as a CSV or printed.

The Report tab shows a printable report with a brief narrative about the timescale and duration selected for the graph, information about the station selected, a weekly data table, a summarization of data from nearby USGS gages for the duration.

Start using Water Deficit Trends here: https://hprcc.unl.edu/wdt/