June rains helped reduce drought concerns across much of South Dakota. But one portion of the state is still much drier than normal, according to a South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension field specialist.

The southwestern corner, including the Black Hills, remains in moderate to severe drought in early July, says Laura Edwards. The region missed the 3-5” of above-average rainfall that many locations around the state reported for June. Drought recovery is unlikely in the next few summer months.

“As temperatures increase, so does water demand by plants, animals and people,” she adds. A drought is expected to persist in this area for July and through September, according to the latest monthly and seasonal drought outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center.

Temperatures in June were below average, which, along with the rain, helped create good growing conditions, says Dennis Todey, SDSU state climatologist.

Computer climate models predict, for early July, small amounts of rainfall, sporadic thunderstorms, sun and moderately warm temperatures.

“There are no clear signs of wetter or drier average conditions for the next month,” Todey says. “Extended periods of excessive heat don’t seem to be forthcoming.”