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

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

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September 2021 Top 10 Monthly Rankings

Monthly Rankings for September 2021
Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, Precipitation in inches

 
Warmest Temperature/ RankingRecord/YearPeriod of Record 
Chadron, NE67.0 / WARMEST (tied with 1969)1941-2021
Scottsbluff, NE67.5 / 2nd warmest 68.1 / 19981893-2021
Akron, CO68.8 / 2nd warmest 68.9 / 19981937-2021
Bismarck, ND65.1 / 2nd warmest 67.1 / 18971874-2021
Grand Forks, ND63.0 / 2nd warmest64.2 / 20091893-2021
Colorado Springs, CO68.0 / 2nd warmest 68.7 / 20191894-2021
Dickinson, ND63.6 / 3rd warmest 64.2 / 19981938-2021
Williston, ND63.8 / 3rd warmest (tied with 1940+)64.3 / 20091894-2021
Denver, CO68.8 / 3rd warmest 69.4 / 20151872-2021
Goodland, KS71.2 / 3rd warmest 72.7 / 20191895-2021
Alamosa, CO58.4 / 4th warmest (tied with 2015+)59.0 / 19331906-2021
Pueblo, CO 70.2 / 4th warmest 72.8 / 20191888-2021
Sisseton, SD64.7 / 4th warmest 67.0 / 19331931-2021
Dodge City, KS74.7 / 5th warmest 78.0 / 20191874-2021
Valentine, NE68.3 / 5th warmest 69.9 / 18971889-2021
Sheridan, WY62.9 / 6th warmest 65.3 / 19631907-2021
Fargo, ND64.4 / 6th warmest (tied with 2013)65.6 / 2015+1881-2021
McCook,  NE71.1 / 7th warmest 72.7 / 20191894-2021
Laramie, WY57.6 / 7th warmest 59.2 / 19981948-2021
North Platte, NE68.4 / 9th warmest 71.0 / 19311874-2021
Aberdeen, SD64.6 / 9th warmest 68.3 / 19311893-2021
Sioux Falls, SD67.0 / 10th warmest 69.9 / 19081893-2021
Wichita, KS 75.6 / 10th warmest79.4 / 19311888-2021
Lander, WY62.8 /  10th warmest (tied with 1994) 65.3 / 20151891-2021
Concordia, KS73.2 / 10th warmest 77.6 / 19311885-2021
Precipitation Precipitation / Ranking Record / Year Period of Record 
Valentine, NE4.01 / 5th wettest 5.91 / 19731889-2021
Sisseton, SD4.21 / 7th wettest (tied with 2017)6.65 / 20041931-2021
Rawlins, WY1.54 / 7th wettest (tied with 1986) 3.64 / 19651951-2021
Sherdian, WY0.04 / 2nd driest Trace / 20121907-2021
Williston, ND0.10 / 7th driest 0.01 / 18991938-2021
Dickinson, ND0.27 / 10th driest 0.14 / 19581938-2021
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