Drought Impacts and Outlook Summaries - July 2017
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Highlights for the State
Temperature and Precipitation Anomalies
- Temperatures for June were mostly above normal between 1°F below to 2°F above normal. A few stations across the north and in Goshen and Platte counties were 1°F below normal
- Precipitation for June was well below normal with only a few pockets of above normal precipitation in the west and northeast. The snowpack is effectively melted out at this time.
- Drought conditions have deteriorated since the last Outlook. Severe Drought (D2) has crept back into the northeast while Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions have spread across the southern part of the state.
- Three fires of note are burning in Wyoming. The Sand Creek fire in Converse County reached 364 acres and is expected to be contained shortly. The Keystone fire in Albany County is at 2500 acres and about 75% contained with full containment expected by the end of the month. The June Creek fire (reported 18 July) in the Shoshone National Forest south of US-14 has reached 2000 acres.
June temperatures were above average for most of Wyoming except for a few scattered stations in the northern and southeastern part of the state. Statewide, June was the 32nd warmest since 1894. Climate Division 3 (Green and Bear Basins) was the warmest, ranking 22nd of the last 123 years.
July temperatures to date (20 July) are running above normal across the entire state with only the station at Chugwater in southeast Platte County reporting below-normal temperatures. Generally, July.s temperatures so far have been warmest in the north and west.
For statewide precipitation, June was the 34th driest of the last 123 years. Climate Division (CD) 8 was the driest in the state and it ranked as having the 16th driest June since 1894.
July so far (20th) has been a dry month for Wyoming although a few stations in the northeast and in Teton County are reporting above-normal precipitation. Fortunately the fire activity has been low considering how dry and warm the conditions have been.
After some improvement in the drought that is covering the northeast part of Wyoming, the situation has deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks with Moderate (D1) and even Severe (D2) conditions moving back into the region. This is part of a larger area of drought that has developed over the northern plains.
In the southeast, Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are forming and covering parts of Albany, Goshen, Platte, and Laramie counties.
Poor soil moisture content and a lack of precipitation has led to D0 conditions expanding northward into southwest and south-central Wyoming. D0 currently covers parts of Carbon, Sweetwater, and Uinta counties.
Although the northeastern part of the state has been receiving some precipitation in the last few weeks, soil moisture is still below normal and drought conditions are expected to continue there.
Evaporative Demand Drought Index
The Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) suggest that high evaporative demand has not been a major factor in the expansion of drought conditions over the past month, as normal or low-demand conditions have prevailed across the state.
At the 2-Week timeframe, the EDDI is showing normal conditions in the eastern and western parts of the state with central Wyoming tending toward the wet side. The 4-Week Index is showing much the same.
Additional products can be found at: http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu/sitemap.html
Do you have drought impacts to report? We still need your on-the-ground reports and you can input them here: http://droughtreporter.unl.edu/submitreport/
Reservoirs in Wyoming are in good shape with most being at 90% full or better.
Reservoir conditions may be viewed online at: http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu/surface_water/teacups.html
With only a few exceptions in north-central and south-central Wyoming, streamflows are normal to above normal throughout the state.
The map below shows stream conditions in Wyoming as of July 20.
Weather and Climate Outlooks
For the next two weeks, Wyoming looks to have better chances for above-normal temperatures, whereas precipitation during the first ten days is more likely to be below-normal for all of Wyoming except the south-central and southeast parts. For the latter part of the period, there are even chances of above, below, or normal precipitation.
Looking at the period of August through October, there are good chances for above-normal temperature statewide. Chances are a bit less in the far eastern parts of the state but still favor temperatures that will be warmer than normal. Precipitation during this period of time is uncertain for most of the state except for slightly elevated chances of above-normal precipitation in the southwest. Moving forward to September through November, there are, again, good chances for above-normal temperature statewide. Precipitation signals are uncertain, making for equal chances of below-normal, normal, or above-normal precipitation.
Drought conditions are expected to continue in the northeast part of the Wyoming. Soil moisture conditions are below normal and temperatures have been above normal. The southeast portion of the state has a potential for drought expansion both in extent and intensity with soil moisture and precipitation there being below normal.
Heard around the State
Washakie Co., Jul 15: We finally got .08" of rain...but not enough to do much more than settle the dust. Everything continues to dry and wither. Three local grass fires.
Sheridan Co., Jul 10: A wall of smoke blew in from the North at 7:00 pm, ca. 1/4 mile visibility. A neighbor said it may be coming from Ashland, MT.
Sheridan Co., Jul 01: No significant precipitation and increased wind. Everything is getting dried out. Crops, lawns, home gardens, trees and flowers are all needing additional irrigation/watering. Fire danger is increasing.
Stay Tuned and In Touch
The next Wyoming Drought Impacts and Outlook Summary will be released around August 18th. If you need information in the meantime, please reach out to any of the partners listed to the right or contact Tony Bergantino directly at Antonius@uwyo.edu
Live in or around the Wind River Indian Reservation? Check out the Wind River Indian Reservation and Surrounding Area Climate and Drought Summary at: WindRiverRes-Climate-Drought-Summary-Mar2017.html