February 2019

This drought assessment report spans a Northern Great Plains region that includes North Dakota, South Dakota, and eastern Montana. It begins with an examination of the observed hydroclimatic conditions that led to the 2017 spring and summertime drought and places those conditions into historical context of 1895–present. The role of anthropogenic climate change is assessed through its possible impact on 2017 precipitation, temperature, and soil moisture. Finally, the report examines whether the record-low summertime precipitation that led to the 2017 drought was predicted by modern initialized forecast systems used by drought forecasters.

Report Cover