Drought Conditions Persist in the Missouri River Basin

April’s dry conditions resulted in well-below average runoff in the upper Missouri River Basin. Monthly runoff in April totaled 1.5 million acre-feet which is 51 percent of the average. The updated 2022 upper Basin runoff forecast is now 17.8 million acre-feet which is 69 percent of the average. If that number gets reached, it will rank as the 23rd-lowest calendar year runoff volume. “Despite recent snow and rainfall events, 84 percent of the upper Basin continues to experience abnormally dry conditions,” says John Remus, chief of the Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Current drought conditions, dry soils, and below-normal mountain snowpack resulted in the below-average 2022 calendar year runoff forecast.” The NOAA Climate Prediction Center indicates increased chances for cooler and wetter-than-normal conditions for most of the Basin during May, potentially providing much-needed moisture to the area. However, June, July, and August forecasts indicate warmer and drier-than-normal conditions.

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