(Source: USDA)

Shades of 2012 are creeping into the South Dakota moisture outlook. The latest drought monitor shows that dry conditions have returned to eastern South Dakota while places in the central and west remain short on moisture.

(Source USDA)

Compare the two images from this week (above) and last month (right). Notice how quickly Lincoln, Clay and Union Counties snapped into the moderate drought category. Sioux Falls received 0.6 inches of rain during the month of July, which is well below the average of 3 inches.

However when you actually look at the snapshot from one year ago, (below, left) you see that South Dakota is in much better shape this year than last year.

(Source: USDA)

Recalling an abnormally dry spell that lasted from June 2012 through March 2013, Our portion of the country at least recovered to some degree. Pity the poor folks in western Kansas and southeastern Colorado who have been mired in the exceptional drought category for the better part of a year.