Is South Dakota in a drought? Oh yes, and this winter we haven't seen the snowfall that is needed to sustain grazing lands and subsoil moisture.

SD Drought Monitor/Unsplash
SD Drought Monitor/Unsplash

Once again parts of South Dakota today will see dry-windy conditions creating the potential for grass fires. Red Flag Warnings, high fire danger notices have been common for the last several months.

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The latest drought monitor indicates about three-quarters of the state is experiencing some level of drought stress. The most severe is in the northwest part of South Dakota.

According to Governor Kristi Noem, "Our number one industry in this state is ag. And what sustained us during COVID was that ag was doing okay. Tourism hit it out of the park but ag was steady. And that allows South Dakota to be successful. Even if people keep visiting South Dakota, ag has eight times the amount of economic impact in the state as tourism does."

The lack of snow has also had an impact on the skiing industry. Great Bear Ski Valley hasn't seen fresh powder in weeks but continues to remain open as long as their snow-making machines keep running.

In western South Dakota at Terry Peak Ski Area, they're in good shape after receiving almost 8 inches of snow late last week.


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Great Bear Ski Valley

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