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Drought Impacts and Outlook Summaries - August 2017

View this Summary as a PDF

Highlights for the State

  • Temperatures for July were warmer than normal across the state. Most stations were 0°F to 4°F above normal, with some larger departures in the northern third of the state.
  • Precipitation for July was well below normal on a statewide basis, although there were a few areas in the northeast and south-central parts of the state that received above-normal amounts
  • Drought conditions have improved since the last Outlook. Abnormally Dry (D0) Conditions have been removed from some areas and the extent of Moderate (D1) and Severe Drought (D2) in the northeast has been lessened. D0 conditions have moved into the far northwest part of the state.
  • Three fires are active in Wyoming. The largest is the Pole Creek Fire (Bridger-Teton Forest) at 3030 acres and 36% containment. The Keystone fire in Albany County is at 2500 acres and contained. The June Fire (1600 acres) in the Shoshone National Forest south of US-14 is at 70% containment.
Temperature and Precipitation Anomalies

July temperatures were well-above average for most of Wyoming. The state, as a whole, ranked as the 9th warmest since 1894. The individual Climate Divisions (CD) ranged from the 6th warmest (CD 6) to the 20th warmest (CD 9).

August temperatures to date (thru the 18th) are running below normal across almost the entire state with the northeast quarter having some of the coolest temperatures relative to normal. Two stations in the far west are running up to 2°F above normal.

July precipitation for Wyoming was less extreme than temperature. Statewide precipitation ranked as the 27th driest of the last 123 years with CD 8 (ranking 17th) being the driest and CD 2 (exactly in the middle and ranked 62nd) being the wettest.

To date (18th) the southern part of the state has seen above normal precipitation while the northern half has generally received below normal amounts this August


Drought levels have improved some in most of the state compared to what they were at the time of the last report. Park County has had some D0 conditions begin to develop.

Improvements were seen in the southwest part of Wyoming where D0 conditions were removed from Uinta County.

In the southeast, D0 was removed from Albany and Laramie counties; however, there was some expansion northward into Goshen County.

In the northeast, D0 was removed from Weston and Niobrara counties and the leading edges of the D1 and D2 areas were moved north a bit. D0 conditions in the southeast will likely improve while the drought in the northeast will probably persist for the near term.

Evaporative Demand Drought Index

The Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI) is still showing low-demand and normal conditions across Wyoming.

Looking at conditions over the last two weeks, the EDDI is showing low-demand conditions for the entire state. The 4-Week period ending 11 August shows that normal conditions occur in the northeast part of Wyoming with the remainder of the state having low-demand.

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/

Water Resources
Reservoirs in Wyoming are still quite full with most being at 80% full or better.

Reservoir conditions may be viewed online at: http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu/surface_water/teacups.html

Streamflows in Wyoming are running at normal or above normal. Currently only two stations in central Fremont County have below normal flows.

The map below shows stream conditions in Wyoming as of August 18.

Weather and Climate Outlooks
For the next two weeks, Wyoming looks to have better chances for above-normal temperatures for the western half with the signal for the eastern half being uncertain. Precipitation during the first ten days is more likely to be above-normal for the far northeastern and southwestern parts of the state and uncertain in between. For the latter part of the period the precipitation amounts become uncertain so there are equal chances for above, below, or normal precipitation.

Looking further forward to the period of September through November, there are good chances for above-normal temperature statewide. Those chances are a bit higher for the southwest parts of the state. Precipitation during this period of time is uncertain for the entire state. Moving forward to October through December, there are, again, good chances for above-normal temperatures statewide. Precipitation signals are still 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 state. There may be some improvement in the southeast D0 areas but no new areas are expected.

Heard around the State
Washakie Co., Aug 5: No significant rain for many days, only dry wind. More grass and lightning caused fires around the area and state. Fire restrictions in place state-wide. Plants, trees, and crops need watering/irrigation to survive. Spring run-off in the creeks is long gone.

Sweetwater Co., Aug 9: A much-needed quarter inch of rain arrived on very gusty winds. It washed the hot air and smoke from the sky and left cool, pleasant air.

Carbon Co., Aug 16: This is the first time in my reporting that the inner gauge has ran over into the outer gauge.


Stay Tuned and In Touch
The next Wyoming Drought Impacts and Outlook Summary will be released around September 22nd. 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