Missouri River Basin Quarterly Climate Impacts and Outlooks

Regional- Significant Events for December 2021- February 2022

Highlights for the Basin

It was a very dry winter throughout most of the Missouri River Basin, especially in the southern portions. The 8th driest February and 10th driest winter on record for the Basin. Nebraska and Kansas observed their 4th and 5th driest winter, respectively. February was very dry, with Wyoming recording their 4th driest and Nebraska recording their 2nd driest month on record. December was a very warm month in the Basin. Kansas and Nebraska observed their warmest December on record, while Colorado and Wyoming observed their 2nd and 9th, respectively. Drought coverage expanded greatly across much of the lower basin. Lincoln, Nebraska recorded its 2nd driest
and lowest snowfall this winter.

Regional- Climate Overview for December 2021- February 2022

Temperature and Precipitation Anomalies

Winter temperatures were above normal for the majority of the Missouri River Basin. December was warm across most of the Basin. Both Kansas and Nebraska observing their highest maximum temperatures on record. Temperatures were closer to normal throughout the rest of the winter.

Precipitation was mostly below normal in the mountains and plains. The exception was eastern North Dakota with well above normal precipitation and snowfall. Many counties in northern Kansas and Nebraska ranked among their driest winters on record. Mountain snowpack for the upper Missouri Basin is approximately 80-85% of normal. This precipitation pattern is consistent with historical La Niña conditions.

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

Changes in Drought Conditions

Drought continued through the winter, with conditions deteriorating up to 3 levels in Kansas and Nebraska. Over 98 percent of Nebraska and 73 percent of Kansas are in drought at the end of February. Despite the dryness in the southeastern part of the region, conditions improved slightly in Montana and eastern North Dakota. The worst category of drought was reduced over 29 percent in Montana.

Dec. 7, 2021 – Feb. 28, 2022

Regional- Impacts for December 2021- February 2022

Wildfires

Several destructive wildfires broke out in December. The most destructive fire in Colorado history broke out on December 30th in Marshall. Aided by gusts of up 100 mph, over 1,000 homes were destroyed causing over $1 billion dollars in damage. In addition, High winds on December 15th led to multiple wildfires in north-central Kansas that burned over 160,000 acres. Two people and hundreds of cattle perished.

Wildfire in Clark County, KS, credit Kansas Forest Service

Recreation

Snow drought conditions and fluctuating temperatures this winter
led to decreased recreational activities in the lower elevations and plains. Snow making for skiing suffered in the Black Hills especially in December due to warm temperatures. A lack of stable lake ice, from varying temperatures, led to more limited ice fishing.

Dust storm in MT, credit Sean R Harvey

Water Resources

Low precipitation throughout most of the basin impacted water resources. Drought has lowered the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System and led to drought conservation measures to be implemented. This will impact navigation in 2022. Also, stock ponds for cattle have not recovered due to limited precipitation and runoff. Recharging these ponds will be difficult without substantial rain events this spring.

Dried up pond in KS, credit Mike McCarty

Regional- Outlook for April- June 2022

The outlook for April through June indicates increased chances of above normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation for the southern and central portions of the region. Equal chances of above, below, and near normal temperatures and precipitation are favored across North Dakota and eastern Montana. The only area with increased chances of below-normal temperatures is in northwest Montana. Based on outlooks, drought conditions are likely to persist for much of the basin, especially in areas where below-normal precipitation and warmer than average temperatures are more likely. Currently, La Niña influences will continue through the summer.

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

February 2022 Climate Summary

February 2022 Climate Summary

Western Kansas Pastures, Photo Courtesy of Gannon Rush

Drought Continued to Expand Across the Region

February was a very dry month for most of the High Plains, which led to the expansion of drought across the region. Currently, 78 percent of the region is now engulfed in drought conditions. Kansas and Nebraska have been significantly impacted by the extreme dryness that was present not only in February, but throughout the winter. Agricultural producers and resource managers are being forced to make decisions based on the current situation to prepare for potential issues in the coming months.


Despite below normal temperatures throughout most of the region, temperatures fluctuated greatly throughout the month. This swing from above normal to below normal temperatures has created issues for many different sectors, particularly recreation. Ice fishing is down in areas due to lakes not having proper time to freeze over, while ski resorts had issues with creating snow.

In eastern North Dakota, cold temperatures and an above-normal number of blizzards have occurred recently. Since the beginning of 2022, 10 blizzard warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks. This has already tied the full-year record, which was set in 2014. As a result, snow has continued to accumulate, which has created the potential to create challenges during the upcoming planting season and has an increased risk of flooding this spring. Many areas along the Red River near Fargo and Grand Forks have a 50% or greater chance of exceeding flood levels this spring as a result of the accumulating snow.

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature (left) and percent of normal precipitation (right) for February 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

The dryness continued to grip the southeastern part of the High Plains in February. Kansas and Nebraska were among the driest for not only the month but for the entire winter season. In contrast, eastern North Dakota and central Colorado recorded above-normal precipitation for the month and season.


Several locations within Nebraska and northern Kansas observed their driest February on record. McCook, Nebraska, observed their 2nd driest month on record, with only trace amounts of precipitation recorded. To the north, North Platte observed 0.03 inches (0.76 mm) of precipitation, leading to their 4th driest February. Grand Island tied with 1904 for the record driest, with only 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) of precipitation observed. Hastings and Lincoln both recorded their 3rd driest February on record with 0.01 and 0.03 inches (0.25 and 0.76 mm), respectively, of precipitation.

This dryness was not only prevalent during the month, but also throughout the winter in Nebraska. Lincoln and Hastings both observed their 2nd driest winters on record, while Norfolk and Grand Island observed their 3rd driest winters. Other locations that were extremely dry included Concordia, Kansas, and Pierre, South Dakota, which recorded their 3rd and 4th driest winters, respectively.

In contrast to this dryness, several locations recorded above-normal precipitation. Sisseton, South Dakota observed their 5th wettest and 6th most snowfall for the winter. Grand Forks, North Dakota was also unusually wet, recording their 4th most snowfall and 10th wettest winter on record. Snowfall was also above-normal in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Fargo, North Dakota, where the 7th and 10th
most winter snowfall, respectively, was observed.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for February 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 for the end of winter remained just below normal for the Upper Missouri River Basin mountains. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as of March 2, Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) above Fort Peck Reservoir is currently at 13.3 inches (33.78 cm) which is 82% of the average (1981-2010). The reach between Fort Peck and Garrison Reservoirs is currently 11.4 inches (28.96 cm) which are 80% of the average (1981-2010). In the Plains, areas with snow on the ground at the end of January were observed in North Dakota and a portion of South Dakota. Meanwhile, warm and dry conditions resulted in snow-free areas across the remainder of the plains.

Temperatures

Across the entirety of the region, temperature departures were below normal for February, aside from a few small areas. In northeastern North Dakota and the Rockies, temperatures were as much as 10 degrees F (5.6 C) below normal for February. Despite the below normal temperature departures in the High Plains, temperatures fluctuated throughout the month. In Topeka, KS, temperatures dropped from a high temperature of 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C) on the 21st to 19 degrees F (-7.2 degrees C) on the 23rd, a decrease of 51 degrees F (28.3 C). These temperature fluctuations created many impacts in the region. For example, soil in the region was not able to freeze fully, which is a concern for farmers as the planting season approaches. Sandhill crane migrations for this year also started to arrive earlier than average from the south due to the unseasonably warm temperatures throughout the winter.


Despite the varying temperatures over the course of the 2021-2022 winter season, some areas ranked in the top 10 warmest winters on record. Lander, WY observed their 8th warmest winter on record, with a season average of 27.2 degrees F (-2.7 degrees C), while the record is 30.9 degrees F (-0.6 degrees C) in 1993-1934. In Colorado Springs, CO, the season-average temperature was 34.4 degrees F (1.3 degrees C) tying with the 1975-1976 season for the 9th warmest winter on record, the record being 37.6 degrees F (3.1 degrees C) from 1933 to 1934.

Above: Daily temperatures for February 2022, along with extremes
and normals values in Fargo, North Dakota.

Drought Conditions

Dryness continued in Nebraska and Kansas, which led to widespread expansion of drought conditions. Meanwhile, drought conditions improved in North Dakota and northeastern Colorado. The region has remained free of exceptional drought (D4) conditions since November of 2021.


Drought significantly expanded across Nebraska as a result of extremely dry conditions. The state began the month with 38 percent in D1 (moderate drought) to D4 (exceptional drought), and ended with 91 percent of the state in D1 to D4. The lack of precipitation South Dakota and Kansas both observed increases of 22 and 10 percent, respectively, to D1 to D4 conditions. Contrary to this dryness, Colorado observed an 11 percent decrease to extreme drought (D3) conditions after the eastern part of the state received above normal precipitation. Drought conditions also improved after beneficial precipitation in central and northern North Dakota. Throughout the rest of the region, other improvements and degradations were observed. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for March, drought development is likely in northern Nebraska and western Colorado.

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 throughout the spring season. A La Niña advisory is 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 May indicates an increased chance of minor flooding in eastern South Dakota and the lower basin. The chance of flooding throughout that portion of the region, for March, remain above 20% with some areas greater than 80%. This will decrease over the next 3 months with the chance of minor flooding less than 20% in May. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), in the High Plains, western Kansas and Eastern Colorado have above-normal wildland fire potential and is expected to remain at this level through April.

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 eastern United States. The highest chances of below-normal temperatures can be observed in the
Northwestern United States. In the High Plains, North Dakota and the northern parts of Wyoming and 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.

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across the Southwest United States. In the Midwest and Northwest, there are increased chances of above-normal precipitation. Across the High Plains there are equal chances of above-, below-, and
near-normal precipitation in the Dakotas and the eastern parts of Kansas and Nebraska. The rest of the region has increased chances of below-normal precipitation.

Drought

he U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on February 28th indicates drought conditions are expected to persist across the Southwest and western High Plains over the next three months. Drought conditions are expected to remain and development is likely in parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

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 Numbers

All data are preliminary and subject to change. + indicates multiple dates, latest date listed. * indicates some missing data for the period. ** indicates value is under evaluation.
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

Download PDF Below

February 2022 Top 10 Monthly Ranking

Precipitation Precipitation / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Grand Island, NE0.01 / DRIEST (tied with 1904)1895-2022
McCook, NETrace / 2nd driest (tied with 2017+)0.00 / 19101894-2022
Lincoln, NE0.03 / 3rd driest 0.00 / 18971887-2022
Hastings, NE0.01 / 3rd driestTrace / 1921+1894-2022
North Platte, NE0.03 / 4th driest (tied with 1988+)0.01 / 2002+1874-2022
Chadron, NE0.02 / 5th driest (tied with 2019)Trace / 2002+1941-2022
Concordia, KS0.03 / 5th driest (tied 1977+)Trace / 19961885-2022
Norfolk, NE0.13 / 8th driest0.04 / 19491893-2022
Rawlins, WY0.12 / 9th driest (tied with 1981)Trace / 20181951-2022
Laramie, WY0.09 / 10th driest (tied with 2007+)0.02 / 19991948-2022

SnowfallSnowfall / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Lincoln, NE0.1 / 4th lowest snowfallTrace / 1996+1887-2022
Norfolk, NE0.2 / 5th lowest snowfall (tied with 1926)Trace / 1931+1893-2022
Hastings, NE0.5 / 7th lowest snowfallTrace / 1991+1895-2022
Omaha, NE0.5 / 8th lowest snowfall0.1 / 1996+1871-2022
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

2021-2022 Winter Season Rankings

WarmestTemperature / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Lander, WY27.2 / 8th warmest30.9 / 1933-19341891-2022
Colorado Springs, CO34.4 / 9th warmest (tied with 1975-1976)37.6 / 1933-19341894-2022

Precipitation Precipitation / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Lincoln, NE0.56 / 2nd driest 0.29 / 1922-19231887-2022
Hastings, NE0.39 / 2nd driest0.20 / 1903-19041894-2022
Norfolk, NE0.67 / 3rd driest0.47 / 1900-19011893-2022
Concordia, KS0.49 / 3rd driest0.39 / 1922-19231885-2022
Grand Island, NE0.51 / 3rd driest0.14 / 1908-19091895-2022
Chadron, NE0.15 / 4th driestTrace / 2000-20011941-2022
Pierre, SD0.32 / 4th driest (tied with 2001-2002)0.16 / 1982-19831893-2022
Salina, KS0.62 / 7th driest0.29 / 1903-19041948-2022
Huron, SD0.63 / 8th driest (tied with 1905-1906)0.32 / 1930-19311881-2022
Topeka, KS1.43 / 9th driest0.37 / 1922-19231887-2022
Sisseton, SD3.48 / 5th wettest 5.32 / 1951-19521931-2022
Grand Forks, ND2.86 / 10th wettest3.78 / 1988-19891893-2022

SnowfallSnowfall / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Lincoln, NE3.8 / 2nd lowest snowfall3.1 / 1953-19541948-2022
Norfolk, NE3.9 / 4th lowest snowfallTrace / 1895-18961893-2022
Grand Island, NE5.4 / 5th lowest snowfall1.3 / 1903-19041895-2022
Hastings, NE4.6 / 7th lowest snowfall 2.3 / 1903-19041894-2022
Huron, SD6.4 / 8th lowest snowfall2.8 / 1930-19311888-2022
Grand Forks, ND46.5 / 4th most snowfall57.7 / 1996-19971893-2022
Sisseton, SD44.0 / 6th most snowfall71.5 / 2010-20111931-2022
Cheyenne, WY33.4 / 7th most snowfall61.8 / 1979-19801883-2022
Fargo, ND42.9 / 10th most snowfall57.0 / 1996-19971885-2022
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

January 2022 Climate Summary

January 2022 Climate Summary

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Photo Courtesy of Gavin Rush

Cold Start to the New Year

2022 began on a very cold note for the High Plains. A brutal cold front pushed through the region on the first few days of the month, with many stations recording their coldest day during the period. Temperatures plummeted below zero throughout the region, with North Dakota observing the bitterest of temperatures. Grand Forks observed a temperature of -37 degrees F (-38 degrees C) on the first, while many other stations in North Dakota experienced temperatures of -30 degrees F (-34 degrees C) or below. These frigid temperatures would linger throughout the month, with some stations having average temperatures below zero for the month.

In contrast to these cold temperatures, the middle of the month was unseasonably warm in the southern High Plains. Multiple states observed daily temperature records broken, with departures of up to 30 degrees F (17 degrees C) above normal for this time of the year. The highest temperature recorded during this period was in southwest
Kansas at Montezuma. Temperatures reached 73 degrees F (23 degrees C) on the 19th, which broke the dailytemperatur e record. Castle Rock, Colorado observed a high temperature of 72 degrees F (22 degrees C) on the 8th and broke the record for warmest day in January on record for the station. The daily average temperature on the 8th was 54 degrees (12.2 degrees C), which surpassed the previous record of 53.5 degrees F (11.9 degrees C).

Late in the month, a heavy snowstorm impacted eastern Colorado and western Kansas. A narrow swath of significant snowfall occurred on the 25th, with areas receiving 15 to 17 inches (38 cm to 43 cm). An isolated pocket along the Colorado and Kansas border received 20 or more inches (51 cm) of snow. The highest amounts were recorded near Mount Sunflower in Kansas, where 27 inches (69 cm) fell in 24 hours.

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature (top) and percent of normal precipitation (bottom) for January 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

The majority of the High Plains was dry for the month of January. Large portions of Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota observed well below normal precipitation. Several snowstorms across southeastern Wyoming, northwestern Kansas, western Nebraska, and eastern Colorado led to above normal precipitation for the area.

Two locations ranked among the driest for January, while several snowstorms led to locations ranking among the snowiest and wettest (see page 6 for December monthly rankings). Dryness was most prevalent across eastern Nebraska, where Norfolk experienced the driest January on record with 0.04 inches (1 mm) of precipitation. In western Colorado, Grand Junction observed the 10th driest month on record, with only 0.14 inches (3.56 mm) of precipitation. Contrary to this, multiple snowstorms led to the 9th wettest January on record for Casper, Wyoming, with 0.90 inches (22.86 mm) of precipitation.

The snowstorm on the 25th of the month helped several locations break snowfall records. In Sharon Springs, Kansas, 21 inches (53.34 cm) of snow fell, surpassing the one-day snowfall record for the station. The large snow amounts helped the station record its snowiest January, with 31 inches (78.74 cm) of snow. This easily passed the previous record of 15.2 inches (38.61 mm), set in 2001. Nearby Dodge City observed their 7th snowiest January on record, with 11.7 inches (29.72 cm) of snow falling. In eastern Colorado, Burlington recorded its snowiest January on record after receiving 19 inches (48.26 mm) during this same storm. Cheyenne, Wyoming also observed their 8th snowiest January on record, with 14.3 inches (36.32 mm) of snow falling during the month.

bove: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for January 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 for this winter season remains just below normal for the Upper Missouri River Basin mountains. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as of December 28th, Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) above Fort Peck Reservoir is currently at 9.1 inches (231.14 mm) which is 87% of the average (1981-2010). The reach between Fort Peck and Garrison Reservoirs is currently 7.7 inches (195.58 mm) which are 86% of the average (1981-2010). In the Plains, areas with snow on the ground at the end of January were observed in North Dakota and a portion of South Dakota. Meanwhile, warm and dry conditions resulted in snow-free areas across the remainder of the plains.

Temperatures

Temperatures for the region varied throughout the month, with 2022 starting cold then transitioning to warmer than normal in the middle of the month. As a result of the fluctuating temperatures, departures in the region remained near normal. Wyoming as well portions of the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Colorado observed temperatures up to 4 degrees F (7 degrees C) above normal while the remainder of the region observed temperatures up to 4 degrees F (7 degrees C) below normal. A small area in the Rockies did observe temperatures up to 8 degrees F (14 degrees C) below normal. Despite below normal snowfall in parts of Colorado, these cooler temperatures allowed ski resorts to maintain their base snow depths.


With temperatures near normal, no locations in our region ranked in the top 10 coldest or warmest January on record, however, some areas did see new daily records set throughout the month. With a cold start to the month, Grand Forks, North Dakota set a new record low for New Year’s Day with a temperature of –37 degrees F (previous record of –35 degrees F in 1885). As the middle of the month transitioned to unseasonably warm, Hastings, Nebraska set a new daily high of 66 degrees F (19 degrees C) on the 18th, surpassing the previous record of 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) set in 1951. Sioux Falls, South Dakota also
tied their record high on the 18th with a temperature of 52 degrees F (11 degrees C) (tie with 1944+).

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

Drought Conditions

Dryness across the eastern part of the region led to the spread of drought and abnormally dry conditions. Meanwhile, beneficial precipitation improved conditions in the tri-state area of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. The region has remained free of exceptional drought (D4) conditions since November of 2021.

Drought continued to expand across Kansas during January, with nearly 60 percent of the state now under moderate drought (D1) to D4 conditions. Western North and South Dakota both experienced an increase of severe drought (D2), with conditions rising 5 and 8 percent, respectively. In the U.S. Drought Monitor, extreme drought (D3) was removed from Nebraska and reduced in Colorado and Wyoming. D1 to D4 conditions were reduced 7 percent in Colorado after the western part of the state experienced much-needed precipitation. Despite the improvements in Colorado and Wyoming, both states remained in abnormally dry (D0) to D4 conditions. Throughout the rest of the region, other improvements and degradations were observed. According to the Climate Prediction Center’s U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for January, drought improvement is likely in western Wyoming, while drought development is likely in eastern Kansas, central Nebraska, and southern 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 persist and are likely to continue throughout the winter season. A La Niña advisory is 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 April indicates an increased chance of minor flooding in the eastern portion of the Dakotas and the lower basin. Chances of flooding remain above 60% with some areas greater than 80%. This chance will decrease slightly as the year progresses but remain elevated in the eastern Dakotas. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), in the High Plains, the majority of Kansas and Eastern Colorado have above-normal wildland fire potential and is expected to remain through March. 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 east coast, southern plains, and parts of the southwest. The highest chances of below-normal temperatures can be observed in the Northwestern United States. In the High Plains, most of the northern parts of the region have equal chances of above-, below-, and near-normal temperatures, while the southern parts have increased chances of above-normal temperatures.

Precipitation

The outlook for the next three months indicates below-normal precipitation across the Southwest and Southeast of the United States. In the Midwest and Northwest, there are increased chances of above-normal precipitation. Across the High Plains there are equal chances of above-, below-, and near normal precipitation, aside from Colorado and the western parts of Kansas and Nebraska which have increased chances of above-normal precipitation.

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on January 20th indicates drought conditions are expected to persist across the Southwest and western High Plains over the next three months. Drought conditions are expected to remain but show minor improvements in the Northwest and Northeast, with some areas likely to observe drought removal. Drought development is likely in the southern United States and the central High Plains.

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 Numbers

Download PDF below

January 2022 Top 10 Monthly Ranking

Precipitation Precipitation/ RankingRecord/YearPeriod of Record 
Norfolk, NE0.04 / DRIEST 0.05 / 1928+1893-2021
Grand Junction, CO0.14 / 10th Driest (tied with 1900)Trace / 19611893-2021
    
Casper, WY0.90 / 9th Wettest1.42 / 19871939-2021
    
SnowfallSnowfall / Ranking Record / YearPeriod of Record
Dodge City, KS11.7 / 7th Snowiest 19.7 / 18981893-2021
Cheyenne, WY14.3 / 8th Snowiest35.5 / 19801883-2021
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

2021 Annual Climate Summary

2021 Annual Climate Summary

Sunset in Lincoln, NE. Photo courtesy Heleena Pettee, High Plains Regional Climate Center.

A Year of Extremes

2021 was a year of extremes in the High Plains. January began the year with above normal temperatures across the region. Monthly temperature departures were as high as 15.0 degrees F (8.3 degrees C) above normal. This warmth led to drought expansion in the Dakotas which is abnormal to see in winter. Historic cold gripped the region in February as bitter cold persisted for 1-2 weeks, which made this event particularly impressive due to its longevity. Avalanche danger was extremely high in the Rockies throughout the winter as early season snowfall was weakened by dry conditions. The Southern portion of the region experienced an extremely wet early spring with above normal precipitation. The heavy precipitation recharged soil moisture and built snowpack in the mountains. Despite this heavy precipitation, flooding was limited in the region due to dry soil conditions.


Drought conditions intensified and expanded throughout the spring and persisted through the remainder of the year. Drought conditions were most extreme in the Northern Plains where crops and rangelands were impacted by the lack of moisture and heat. Over 80 percent of pastures and rangeland in the Dakotas were in poor to very poor conditions by the end of the summer. Poor forage, low stock ponds, and pests led to increased cattle sales across the region. The dry conditions and heat impacted crops and led to early maturation
and harvest. Pollinators and wildlife were also impacted as a result of drought conditions. Dwindling beehives led to a decrease in the Dakotas honey production this year. Fawn survival rates were lower than average with a lack of forage and some fish populations decreased from low river levels. As 2021 came to an end, 65 percent of the region in D1-D3 conditions, and 88 percent of the region remained in abnormally dry (D0) conditions.

Above: Departure from 1981-2010 normal temperature (left) and percent of normal precipitation (right) for 2021 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

2021 remained another dry year across the High Plains. The majority of the region experienced below normal precipitation for the year. While late winter and early spring started off wet in the region, that quickly changed as summer began and drought conditions started to expand and worsen throughout the remainder of the year. While only a couple of locations ranked in the top 10 wettest/driest for the year, many locations set new monthly records throughout 2021. Chadron, NE ranked the 5th driest year on record with 11.50 inches (292.1
mm) of precipitation recorded for the year. In contrast, Sisseton, SD had their 8th wettest year on record with a total of 28.98 inches (736.1 mm) of precipitation.

Snowpack for the 2020-21 season was below normal for the region resulting in portions of the upper Missouri River Basin runoff being much lower than average. Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) peaked above Fort Reservoir at the end of March with 86 percent of the normal peak, while the reach between Fort Peck and Garrison Reservoirs peaked at the end of April at 96 percent of the normal peak. Both areas ended the season below average with Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) 80 percent of average above Fort Peck Reservoir and 65 percent of average between Fort Peck and Garrison reservoirs. As a result, as summer began, Basin runoff was 69 percent of average. As this year’s snow season (2021-2022) began, early season snowpack across the region is below normal as a result of a warmer and drier start to the winter season. While it is still early in the 2021-2022 season, this can become a concern to farmers as they look to spring planting.


The severe weather season in the region was less active for the year. In June, only four tornado warnings were issued across Kansas, which is well below the June average of 29 (based on data going back to 1986). At the end of peak severe weather season in July for the High Plains, every state aside from Colorado was 50 percent below their yearly total for tornadoes, according to the Storm Prediction Center. South Dakota and Nebraska both had their lowest number of severe weather warnings since 1995. Aside from this, there were some extreme severe weather events including an unusual December Derecho that moved across the plains causing damaging winds and tornadoes (see page 4 for details).


The following locations had notable precipitation records during 2021:


• Akron, Colorado had its wettest spring on record with 10.78 inches (274 mm) of precipitation (period of record 1937-2021).


• Tribune, Kansas reported 5.66 inches (144 mm) of rain on May 16th, which was the highest 1-day total precipitation ever recorded at this location (period of record 1893-2021)


• Denver, Colorado reported its first measurable snow of the season on December 10th surpassing the previous record of November 21st, 1934, by 19 days.


• Grand Forks, North Dakota had its driest July with 0.42 inches (11 mm) of precipitation (period of record 1893-present). This was 3.10 inches (79 mm) below normal.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for 2021. These maps are produced
by HPRCC and can be found on the Current Climate Summary Maps
page at: http://hprcc.unl.edu/maps/current

Temperature

Temperatures across the region were above normal for the year, with the northern part of the region being well above normal. The majority of the region experienced departures of 2.0 degrees F (1.1 degrees C) with isolated parts of North Dakota observing departures of above 5.0 degrees F (2.8 degrees C). The year started with above normal temperatures but cooled off dramatically with a historic outbreak of Arctic air that affected the region during the middle of February. Multiple records were broken during the span of several weeks. Outside of cooler temperatures in March and May, the region experienced above normal temperatures throughout the year.

The following locations had notable temperature records during 2021:


• Sisseton, South Dakota: Warmest year on record. The average temperature was 48.0 degrees F (8.9 degrees C), which broke the previous record of 47.1 degrees F (8.4 degrees C), set in 2016 (period of record 1931-2021)


• Bismarck, North Dakota: Also observed the warmest year on record. Average temperatures were 47.2 degrees F (8.4 degrees C), which broke the previous record of 46.5 degrees F (8.1 degrees C) from 2016 (period of record
1886-2021)


• Omaha, Nebraska: Warmest December temperature on record at 74.0 degrees F (23.3 degrees C), December 15 (period of record 1871-2021)


• Bottineau, North Dakota: Lowest temperature on record at -51.0 degrees F (-46.1 degrees C), February 13 (period of record 1893-2021)

• Grand Junction, Colorado: Warmest temperature on record at 107 degrees F (41.7 degrees C), July 9 (period of record 1893-2021)


• Bismarck, North Dakota: Most number of 100.0 degree F (37.8 degrees C) in a single year, 15 days

Drought Conditions

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, significant improvements to drought conditions were observed throughout the High Plains this past year. At the beginning of 2021, 81 percent of the region was in moderate to exceptional (D1-D4) conditions. The drought was particularly devastating in Colorado, where 28 percent of the state was in D4 conditions and 76 percent of the state experienced extreme drought (D3) at the start of the year.

During the course of the year, conditions deteriorated drastically then rebounded in North Dakota. At the peak of the drought on May 18th, 85 percent of the state experienced D3 conditions and 17 percent of the state was within D4 conditions. The drought caused serious issues for agriculture during the late spring and summer months. At the year’s end, conditions have improved substantially with only 8 percent of the state in D3 conditions. Colorado began
the year in bad shape but gradually improved throughout the year. Despite the improvements to drought conditions, the state observed destructive wildfires in late December which destroyed hundreds of homes north of Denver.

At the end of the year, 65 percent of the region was experiencing D1 to D3 conditions. Although the majority of the region was in drought conditions, the entire region has been without D4 conditions to end the year. Even with the improvements this past year, 88 percent of the region remained in abnormally dry (D0) conditions.

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/.

Noteworthy Events

Historic February Cold: Historic cold impacted the region in February. Many areas in the region observed record breaking temperatures and temperature departures exceeding 40 degrees F (22.2 degrees C) below normal occurred
in Nebraska. The extreme cold was most notable due to its duration which lasted for 1-2 weeks. The Southwest Power Pool, which serves the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas, was most impacted with rolling blackouts and requests to residents to conserve energy until temperatures increased.


March Precipitation: A slow-moving storm system brought heavy rain and snow over the southern High Plains. Many areas received over 200 percent of their normal precipitation for the month of March. Numerous daily and monthly records were set, and some locations received more precipitation from this storm than what they would expect for the entire month. While this system caused areas of flooding, road closures, and canceled flights, it did help
to replenish soil moisture and improve drought conditions.


Colorado Mudslides: Localized heavy rains in burn scarred areas led to multiple mudslides along I-70 in Colorado. Starting in late June, multiple mudslides resulted in the closure of the major interstate and traffic delays. July 29th, more than 100 motorists were trapped on the interstate overnight with some taking shelter in a nearby tunnel. This July event closed I-70 for a record 15 days
before debris could be removed to make way for motorists.


December Derecho: On December 15th, a powerful derecho moved across the High Plains and traveled more than 650 miles across the country. Impacts in our region were observed across Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. Preceding the storm, daily temperature records were being set all across the region. High winds from the derecho set new daily wind records, created dust storms, and damaged structures and powerlines. Tornadoes also occurred in areas,
Nebraska exceeded their previous December tornado record of 5 after 27 tornadoes were confirmed across the state.


Drought Across the Region: Drought conditions persisted throughout the year with impacts seen across the region. Pastures and rangeland were in poor to very poor conditions, with poor water quality and forage, resulting in increased
cattle sales. Extreme heat resulted in earlier than average maturation and harvest for crops as well as pest issues as a result of grasshoppers thriving in warm conditions. Wildlife and pollinators were also impacted with lower than average pronghorn fawn survival rates and dwindling beehive sizes.


Wildfires: Warm and dry conditions resulted in multiple wildfires across the region this year, the most severe in Wyoming and Montana. Smoke from the wildfires could be seen across the High Plains with hazy skies.

Snow in Lincoln, NE. Photo courtesy Heleena Pettee, High
Plains Regional Climate Center.

Flooding at Holmes Lake in Lincoln, NE. Photo courtesy Rezaul Mahmood, High Plains Regional Climate Center.

Drought stressed crops in KS. Photo courtesy Chip Redmond

Burn scarred area along Pourde River in CO. Photo courtesy Dannele Peck

Station Summaries: By the Numbers

Download the PDF Below:

December 2021 Climate Summary

December 2021 Climate Summary

Sunset in Western Kansas, Photo Courtesy Gannon Rush

Active End to the Year for the Region

Warmer temperatures dominated most of the High Plains, while precipitation varied across the region. The southern portion of the region was dry, while drought-stricken parts of North Dakota and western Colorado received beneficial precipitation. The warm and dry conditions in the southern portion of the region attributed to several noteworthy events.

A strong low-pressure system moved across the southern part of the region, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. In Colorado, a 107 mph (172 km/h) wind gust was recorded in Lamar. The winds there caused power outages and damage to homes. To the east, Kansas experienced severe winds which led to substantial amounts of dust being stirred up. These dust storms resulted in the closure of several highways and numerous crashes along Interstate 70 in the western part of the state. The dry weather and intense winds also contributed to an outbreak of wildfires in north-central Kansas. Meanwhile, in neighboring Nebraska, both severe storms and snow occurred in a several-hour span. An extremely unusual derecho that was strong and fast-moving crossed the state, with numerous 75 mph (121 km/h) plus wind gusts and dozens of tornadoes reported. After the storm had passed, temperatures significantly dropped which led to snow. This light snowfall and the remaining high winds led to the first issuance of a Snow Squall Warning by the National Weather Service in Hastings, NE.

At the end of the month, a devastating wildfire broke out north of Denver, CO on the 30th. Winds gusted from 70 to 100 mph (113 to 161 km/h), with a maximum gust of 115 mph (185 km/h) recorded in Arvada. These fires rapidly spread across the foothills and engulfed up to 1,000 homes, making this among the most destructive fires in Colorado state history.

Above: Departure from 1991-2020 normal temperature (top) and percent of normal precipitation (bottom) for December 2021 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 varied across the High Plains for December. The northern plains including North Dakota, western Colorado, and portions of Wyoming and South Dakota observed above normal precipitation for the month. In the southern High Plains, below normal precipitation was recorded, with areas in Kansas and eastern Colorado receiving less than 5 percent of their normal precipitation.

This precipitation gradient resulted in some locations ranking in the top 10 wettest and driest December on record (see page 6 for December monthly rankings). Wichita, KS observed their driest December on record with 0.01 inches (0.25 mm) of precipitation. Chadron, NE tied with 2010 and other years for the driest December on record, observing a trace of precipitation. While the southern High Plains observed below normal precipitation, on December 15th an intense derecho moved through the region impacting Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas with damaging winds, rain, tornadoes, and dust.

The largest precipitation was observed in western Colorado, with areas receiving over 3 inches (76 mm) above normal. Grand Junction, CO observed their wettest December on record with 2.08 inches (53 mm) exceeding their previous record of 2.05 inches (52 mm) in 2007.

Snowfall also varied across the region. Sisseton, SD observed their 2nd snowiest December on record with 20.3 inches (52 cm) of snow. Grand Forks, ND observed their 3rd snowiest December on record with 27.0 inches (69 cm) of snow, with the record being 36.0 inches (91 cm) and set in 2010. In contrast, Topeka, Wichita, and Dodge City, Kansas observed their least snowy December on record, tied with multiple years, with 0.00 inches of snow.

Above: Total precipitation in inches (top) and departure from normal
precipitation in inches (bottom) for December 2021. 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

Dry conditions in the early winter season resulted in the Upper Missouri River Basin mountain snowpack levels being below normal for December. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as of December 28th, Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) above Fort Peck Reservoir is currently at 6.1 inches (mm), while the reach between Fort Peck and Garrison Reservoirs is 6.2 inches (mm). While the early season snowpack is below normal, it is still early in the season with ample time for the snowpack to return to normal. In the Plains, areas with snow on the ground at the end of December were observed in the Dakotas. Meanwhile, warm and dry conditions resulted in snow-free areas across the remainder of the plains.

Temperatures

Above normal temperatures prevailed throughout most of December. Except for North Dakota, much of the region recorded much above normal temperatures. The southern part of the region experienced temperature departures of 6.0 – 10.0 degrees F (3.3-5.6 degrees C) above normal. This led to many areas ranking in the top 10 warmest December on record. Grand Island, NE (period of record 1895-2021) and Norfolk, NE (period of record 1893-2021) both observed their warmest December on record. Several locations in both Colorado and Kansas recorded their second warmest December because of these much above normal temperatures. Please see page 6 for additional rankings.

On the 15th, an extremely unusual and extreme event occurred in the High Plains. Temperatures in the southern part of the region exceeded 70.0 degrees F (21.0 degrees C) with departures up to 39.0 degrees F (21.7 degrees C) above normal in some areas. Many locations set their daily high record and their warmest temperature on record for December. Omaha, NE (period of record 1871-2021) observed their warmest December day on record, with a temperature of 74.0 degrees F (23.3 degrees C). These warm conditions lasted through most of the day until an extreme pressure system passed through, causing temperatures to drop over 40 degrees F (22.2 degrees C). The abnormally high temperatures combined with the significant winds from the pressure system led to large wildfires breaking out in north-central Kansas. The smoke from these fires was carried across Kansas and Nebraska, with the haze being seen as far away as Chicago. Over 163,000 acres (66,000 hectares) were burned before the fires were contained.

Above: Daily temperatures for December 2021 along with extremes
and normals values in Norfolk, Nebraska.

Drought Conditions

The trend of above normal temperatures and dryness across the southern High Plains continued through the month of December. Drought conditions continued their spread and intensified in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska while the Dakotas observed improvements. Despite the intensification of drought conditions this past month, the region remained free from exceptional drought (D4) conditions.

Kansas experienced the most significant degradations to drought conditions this past month. The amount of the state covered in moderate drought (D1) to D4 increased from 19 percent to over 50 percent during the course of the month. Abnormally dry (D0) conditions now also cover 73 percent of the state. In Colorado, the entire state is now engulfed by D1 to D4 conditions. Despite minimal change to the percentage of the state in severe drought (D2), conditions in the western part of the state improved while the eastern parts declined. Above normal precipitation in the eastern Dakotas led to the reduction of abnormally dry and drought conditions. Throughout the rest of the region, other improvements and degradations were observed. According to the U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for January, drought improvement is likely in western 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 remain present and are likely to continue throughout the winter season. A La Niña advisory is 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 March indicates a continual decrease in the chance of minor flooding. There is a greater than 50 percent chance of minor flooding in areas of the lower Missouri River Basin for January and that will continue to decrease through March where it becomes a less than 5 percent chance. According to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), in the High Plains, Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado have above normal wildland fire potential and that is expected to remain through April.

The seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks 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 east coast, southern plains, and parts of the southwest. The highest chances of below normal temperatures can be observed in the Northwestern United States. In the High Plains, most of the region has equal chances of above, below, and near normal temperatures, aside from Kansas, and southern Colorado which has increased chances of above normal temperatures.

Precipitation

The precipitation outlook for the next three months indicates below normal precipitation across the Southwest and Southeast of the United States. In the Midwest and Northwest, there are increased chances of above normal precipitation. Across the High Plains there are equal chances of above, below, and near normal precipitation, aside from southern Colorado which has increased chances of above normal precipitation.

Drought

The U.S Seasonal Drought Outlook released on December 31st indicates drought conditions are expected to persist across the Southwest and western High Plains over the next three months. Drought conditions are expected to remain but show minor improvements in the Northwest and California, with some areas likely to observe drought removal. Drought development is likely in the Southeast and south Texas.

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 Numbers

Download PDF below

2021 Annual Top 10 Rankings

WarmestTemperature/RankingRecord/YearPeriod of Record
Sisseton, SD48.0 / WARMEST47.1 / 20161931-2021
Bismarck, ND47.2 / WARMEST46.5 / 20161886-2021
Aberdeen, SD47.7 / 2nd Warmest48.1 / 19871893-2021
Valentine, NE51.9 / 2nd Warmest52.0 / 20121889-2021
Alamosa, CO44.2 / 3rd Warmest (tied with 1954)44.7 / 20171906-2021
Rawlins, WY45.0 / 3rd Warmest46.2 / 20121951-2021
Colorado Springs, CO52.0 / 4th Warmest (tied with 2016)59.0 / 20121894-2021
Norfolk, NE51.7 / 4th Warmest (tied with 2005)53.2 / 20121893-2021
Grand Island, NE53.3 / 4th Warmest56.0 / 19341895-2021
Grand Forks, ND43.1 / 4th Warmest44.4 / 20161893-2021
Laramie, WY43.0 / 4th Warmest (tied with 2017)44.2 / 20121948-2021
Chadron, NE49.6 / 4th Warmest (tied with 2020)50.7 / 19811941-2021
Scottsbluff, NE51.4 / 4th Warmest53.0 / 20121893-2021
Dickinson, ND45.6 / 4th Warmest (tied with 1999)46.6 / 19871938-2021
Williston, ND44.5 / 5th Warmest (tied with 1934)46.8 / 19811894-2021
Cheyenne, WY48.1 / 5th Warmest (tied with 2015)49.0 / 20121871-2021
Huron, SD48.8 / 5th Warmest (tied with 2016)50.0 / 19311881-2021
Sioux Falls, SD49.9 / 5th Warmest50.6 / 19311893-2021
Fargo, ND45.2 / 6th Warmest (tied with 2006+)46.7 / 20161881-2021
Omaha, NE54.1 / 6th Warmest55.9 / 19311871-2021
Lander, WY47.4 / 6th Warmest (tied with 2006)49.0 / 20121891-2021
Pierre, SD49.8 / 7th Warmest51.1 / 19991893-2021
Hastings, NE52.9 / 7th Warmest54.7 / 19541894-2021
Salina, KS57.4 / 8th Warmest59.9 / 19311948-2021
Denver, CO52.7 / 9th Warmest (tied with 1946+)54.8 / 19341872-2021
Sheridan, WY47.4 / 10th Warmest (tied with 1983)48.6 / 19341907-2021
North Platte, NE51.6 / 10th Warmest (tied with 2016)54.0 / 19341874-2021
PrecipitationPrecipitation / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Chadron, NE11.58 / 5th Driest7.61 / 20201941-2021
Sisseton, SD28.98 / 8th Wettest34.92 / 20191931-2021
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

December 2021 Top 10 Monthly Rankings

Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, Precipitation in inches

WarmestTemperature / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Grand Island, NE35.5 / WARMEST35.4 / 18961895-2021
Salina, KS40.8 / WARMEST40.6 / 19391948-2021
Norfolk, NE32.6 / WARMEST32.4 / 19571893-2021
Topeka, KS43.1 / 2nd Warmest45.3 / 18891887-2021
Colorado Springs, CO40.3 / 2nd Warmest41.0 / 19331894-2021
Wichita, KS44.2 / 2nd Warmest46.4 / 18891888-2021
Akron, CO35.8 / 2nd Warmest36.9 / 19801937-2021
Rawlins, WY28.3 / 3rd Warmest33.5 / 19801951-2021
Dodge City, KS41.3 / 3rd Warmest44.6 / 18891874-2021
Pueblo, CO39.3 / 3rd Warmest42.2 / 18891888-2021
Concordia, KS39.9 / 3rd Warmest41.9 / 18891885-2021
Lander, WY31.5 / 4th Warmest (tied with 1939)34.3 / 19801891-2021
Alamosa, CO26.1 / 4th Warmest28.1 / 19801906-2021
Goodland, KS36.5 / 4th Warmest 39.6 / 19331895-2021
Laramie, WY28.1 / 4th Warmest33.5 / 19801948-2021
Omaha, NE35.9 / 5th Warmest39.5 / 18891871-2021
Lincoln, NE36.0 / 6th Warmest38.6 / 18891887-2021
Hastings, NE34.8 / 6th Warmest (tied with 1956)38.0 / 19571894-2021
Scottsbluff, NE34.6 / 6th Warmest37.0 / 19801893-2021
McCook, NE35.0 / 7th Warmest39.8 / 19571894-2021
Casper, WY 30.1 / 9th Warmest34.3 / 19801939-2021
Valentine, NE31.5 / 10th Warmest35.6 / 18891889-2021
North Platte, NE33.8 / 10th Warmest37.2 / 18891874-2021
Cheyenne, WY34.3 / 10th Warmest39.0 / 19331871-2021
Precipitation Precipitation / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Chadron, NETrace / DRIEST (tied with 2010+)1941-2021
Wichita, KS0.01 / DRIEST 0.02 / 19501888-2021
Dodge City, KSTrace / 2nd Driest (tied with 2017+)0.00 / 18891874-2021
Topeka, KS0.11 / 8th Driest0.04 / 19961887-2021
Salina, KS0.08 / 10th DriestTrace / 1976+1948-2021
Grand Junction, CO 2.08 / WETTEST2.05 / 20071893-2021
Sisseton, SD1.75 / 4th Wettest2.03 / 19681931-2021
Fargo, ND1.75 / 5th Wettest (tied with 2010)2.28 / 19271881-2021
Grand Forks, ND1.36 / 8th Wettest2.29 / 19181893-2021
Rawlins, WY0.84 / 9th Wettest2.10 / 20101951-2021
Williston, ND1.22 / 9th Wettest2.50 / 20081894-2021
SnowfallSnowfall / RankingRecord / YearPeriod of Record
Topeka, KS0.00 / Least Snowy (tied with 2004+)1887-2021
Wichita, KS0.00 / Least Snowy (tied with 2001+)1888-2021
Dodge City, KS0.00 / Least Snowy (tied with 1933+)1893-2021
Omaha, NE0.8 / 9th Least Snowy (tied with 1954)0.00 / 20041948-2021
Sisseton, SD20.3 / 2nd Snowiest36.0 / 20101931-2021
Grand Forks, ND27.0 / 3rd Snowiest30.2 / 19961893-2021
Bismarck, ND18.5 / 7th Snowiest33.3 / 20081886-2021
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