Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Riverton, WY

Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2
000
AXUS75 KRIW 160342
DGTRIW

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
National Weather Service Riverton WY
930 PM MDT THU SEP 15 2022

...EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS PERSIST ACROSS WESTERN WYOMING…

.SYNOPSIS:

.Drought Intensity and Extent:
Temperatures across the region remained above normal for most of the
period, as a few weak storm systems tried to bring more moisture to
the west and north. This pattern did bring a slight improvement in both
soil moisture and drought conditions, particularly across the north and
central sections of the state. As noted by the U.S. Drought Monitor map
that was posted on August 23rd, just over 87 percent of the state was
still under drought conditions ranging from Abnormally Dry to Extreme
Drought.

During the past four weeks Extreme (D3) Drought conditions remained
across southwest Teton and northern Sublette Counties. Severe (D2)
Drought conditions continued across central and southern Teton, the
rest of Sublette, Lincoln and northwestern Sweetwater Counties.

Moderate (D1) Drought conditions persisted across central Teton,
extreme western Fremont, southeast Sublette, western and southern
Sweetwater, and southeastern Johnson Counties, while expanding
across northeast Sweetwater and central Hot Springs Counties.
Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are currently located across northern
Teton, western and southern Park, all of Hot Springs and Washakie
Counties,as well as  most of Fremont, central and northeast
Sweetwater, southwest Johnson and eastern and southern Natrona
Counties.

.Temperature and Precipitation:
Monsoonal moisture and four weak storm systems tried to bring cooler
and wet weather to Wyoming, but the long term pattern of warmer than
normal temperatures remained across the state. Overall, temperatures
were overly warm across the region during the last four weeks and
averaged 4 to 5 degrees above normal. The coolest regions were located
across northern Sweetwater, southeast Fremont and southern Natrona
Counties where readings were 2 to 3 degrees above normal. The warmest
sections of the state were observed across southern Lincoln, southwest
Sweetwater and northwest Johnson Counties which had readings 6 to 8
degrees above normal.

With the aforementioned weak cool fronts and some seasonal thunder
storms, the precipitation pattern reversed from last month to where
most of the moisture fell over the northwestern and north-central
sections of Wyoming. The drier areas were located mostly in the south
and central areas of Wyoming over the last four weeks. The wettest areas
across Wyoming were reported across central Big Horn, northern Johnson
and southern Fremont Counties where over 300 percent of normal
precipitation were observed. During this period the driest areas were
located across southern Sublette, as well as northwest and eastern
Sweetwater Counties where less than 15 percent of normal precipitation
were recorded.

.Hydrologic Conditions:
As rain returned to the northern half of the state, streamflow conditions
also improved slightly, while starting to show signs of some degradation
across the drier south. Overall, the U.S. Geological Survey WaterWatch
web page updated report indicated near normal flows across most of the
region with below normal flows observed across the upper Green, southern
Powder and lower Bighorn River Basins.

With the ongoing dry and warm weather pattern dominating the last
few weeks, most reservoirs about the region have seen an increase in
demand for downstream agriculture irrigation needs. This increase
along with less inflows has led to a decrease in levels at most
reservoirs across the region. Pathfinder’s levels have been lowered
to fill Alcova and most of the Green River’s reservoirs have been
feeding Flaming Gorge, which has been increasing downstream flows to
assist the Colorado River situation. Reservoirs across northern and
central Wyoming ranged from 87 percent full at Boysen to 21 percent
at Jackson Lake, with sites across the south averaging between 98
percent full at Alcova to 8 percent at Big Sandy.

Snowpack Conditions:
No reports.

.SUMMARY OF IMPACTS:

.Agriculture Impacts…
Though it was quite warm and mostly dry across much of the region, the
first valley frosts were observed across the far west last week. Some crop
damage to local alfalfa and garden plants were reported. Precipitation was
more widespread over the past few weeks and soil moisture did improve
slightly in most areas, though it still remained on the dry side of the
scale.

The most recent USDA Wyoming Monthly Crop Progress and Condition
Report issued on September 11th, reported that 78 percent of topsoil
moisture across the state was reported at the short to very short
levels, compared to 79 percent this time last year and the 5 year
average of 65 percent. Subsoil moisture reports across Wyoming were
also reporting slightly improved conditions with 82 percent being
reported as very short to short on moisture across the region,
compared to 81 percent a year ago and a 5 year average of 67 percent.

The majority of alfalfa and other main crops are on target, and very
few problems have been reported with livestock production. Overall,
pasture and rangeland conditions across the region have only
reported slight improvements over the past few weeks with areas
rated at 42 percent very poor to poor, compared to 70 percent this
time last year and a 5 year average of 44 percent. Additionally,
stock water supplies have shown a very gradual decline across the
region and were reported as 33 percent very short to short this
month, compared to 50 percent last month.

.Fire Danger Impacts…
Hot and dry conditions have dominated most of the region over the past
four weeks which has lowered the average fuel and soil moisture conditions
across the region. This has kept the threat of wildfire development,
particularly across the southwest. This threat is still evident as a 2600
acre wildfire started in the Wind River range just west of Fort Washakie.

The latest National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) Observed Fire
Danger ratings indicated Moderate Fire Danger across central and
southwestern Wyoming with Low Fire Danger observed across the rest
of Wyoming.

.DROUGHT MITIGATION ACTIONS: None.

.LOCAL PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK:

The updated Climate Prediction Center`s (CPC) outlook for the state
of Wyoming for the rest of September continued to indicate a trend
of warmer than normal temperatures across the region with a chance
of below normal precipitation. The latest CPC seasonal outlook for
the period of October through December shows an ongoing trend of
above normal temperatures across Wyoming with below average
precipitation across the south and near normal moisture across the
north through the fall.

The most recent U.S. Monthly Drought Outlook for the rest of
September indicated continued drought conditions across western and
southern Wyoming with some improvement across the northern and
central sections. Looking further towards the end of the year, the
U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook for the period of October through
November has drought conditions continuing across western, southern
and eastern Wyoming through the period.

.NEXT ISSUANCE DATE:

This product will be updated by mid-October 2022 or sooner if
necessary, in response to any significant changes in conditions.

&&

.RELATED WEB SITES:

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found at
The following web addresses:

U.S. Drought Monitor: https://www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu U.S.
Drought Information System: https://drought.gov NWS Riverton drought
page: https://www.weather.gov/riw/drought Wyoming Water Resource
Data System (WRDS): http://www.wrds.uwyo.edu

To report effects of the drought in your area, please go to the
Drought Impact Reporter at: http://droughtreporter.unl.edu/

.Acknowledgments:

The U.S. Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the
National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental
Information, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state and
regional climatologists, and the National Drought Mitigation Center.
Information for this statement was gathered from NWS and FAA
observation sites, state cooperative extension services, the USDA
and USGS.

.Questions or comments:

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information
Statement, please contact:

National Weather Service 12744 West US Highway 26 Riverton, WY 82501
Phone:  800-211-1448 Email:  nws.riverton@noaa.gov

$$


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.