Black Hills Snow Survey paints grim picture for ongoing drought - KOTA Territory News

Black Hills Snow Survey paints grim picture for ongoing drought

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Last March was one of the driest on record, Rapid City and the much of the surrounding area didn't get any precipitation.

Surprisingly, by this time last year, the Black Hills managed to receive above average moisture.

But, this year, after another warm and dry winter, the Black Hills weren't as fortunate.

The Black Hills March Snow Survey Report is in, and no surprise, the news isn't good.

If the 22 inches of snow melts at the Upper Spearfish site, which is 25 miles southwest of Lead, yYou would find more than 5 inches of water. That's about a quarter inch less than normal.

But, other locations in the Black Hills, such as Ditch Creek just south of Deerfield, have half their average water content, and only 10 inches of snow on the ground.

Below average precipitation and snow water equivalent means we probably won't have to worry about spring flooding, but obviously its bad news for an area already fighting a drought, and in the Black Hills, the dry conditions could make for another devastating fire season.

So far this March, precipitation has been below average, except in the Bear Lodge Mountains in Wyoming, where precipitation has been average.

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