The drought in the upper Midwest is starting to show locally. McCook Lake is down by more than three feet and may be down by five feet by spring. The drop is most noticeable in the drop-off from docks. The Missouri River is at 2013 levels, the lowest over a 10-year period.
The drought monitor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has this immediate area with severe drought. The area north along the Big Sioux to Sioux Falls and into northwest Iowa shows as extreme drought.
Affecting the area are short-term precipitation deficits, lack of seasonal snow cover, depleted soil moisture and unseasonably warm temperatures (12 to 20 degrees F above average temperatures).