The entire state suffered from a pretty significant drought this past summer.
Conditions now are only slightly better.
Mike Haff, Breien Rancher, “Last year I sold about 75% of my cows…. cause of the drought. I didn’t have enough hay.”
Haff has been ranching his entire life and he said it was a tough summer and he isn’t expecting much for this upcoming year… given it is dry again.
Haff says, “There’s no snow, we got no moisture and the little snow that we have gotten, I mean, the ground is dry, we’ve dug some corner posts, there’s just no moisture down there.”
Allen Schlag, NWS Hydrologist, says, “We have a well below normal snowpack.”
With roughly about an inch of snow on the ground, and that’s state wide, this makes the drought situation not so good.
In the Bismarck area, there is only 0.15″ of the liquid equivalent on the ground and there should be an 1.5″.
And about 61% of the state is in a moderate drought or higher.
Haff says, “Without moisture everybody hurts. I mean it’s not just the farmer.”
Because a drought doesn’t just impact one person, but an entire region. And it would take a lot to solve this drought.
Schlag says, “We would really have to have an exceptionally unfriendly January and February. It would have to be very snowy.”
The National Weather Service says, if we don’t get that big snow storm we are probably in for a very dry summer.
And unfortunately, January and February are the two driest months of the year.
Haff says, “It’s just hard to say what it’s going to be like in another 3 months.”
I think it is safe to say that any snow that does fall will gives some hope.
The first two months of the year are on average the driest months out of the year.