Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Site Section
News & Events

Northern Plains Drought Update & Outlook – Tribal Webinar: September 30, 2021

Event Date
September 30, 2021
Event Time
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

This webinar, which is the fourth in a series focused on the drought in the Northern Plains, highlighted long-term drought monitoring for tribal resource departments by showcasing the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska and their data collecting and preparation efforts for drought in the region.

As we move into the fall season, we also looked at the impacts of this summer's drought and the outlook for the coming months. NOAA, USDA, and USGS partnered to host this drought webinar series throughout the summer to provide resources to tribal resource managers in the Northern Plains. Our goal is to provide up-to-date information on the drought and its impacts to assist with near and long-term preparation and planning.



Welcome to the Northern Plains Drought Update and Outlook Tribal Webinar

Speaker: Stefan Tangen, North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC)



Current Conditions and Outlook

Speaker: Doug Kluck, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information

  • Fall and winter are recharge seasons for the Northern Plains, and currently it is very dry. Fall into winter is a relatively dry time of year in this region, and frozen soils prevent infiltration of water. 
  • It is possible that La Niña could help conditions in this region, and outlooks generally call for wetter and warmer conditions through the end of the year. However, even if there is average snowpack or average precipitation, it is not likely to end the drought. It is possible that this could be a multi-year drought.
  • Since soils are thirsty, it is likely that runoff will be lower in the spring. 
  • To stay informed about the current conditions and outlooks, please register for the next monthly North Central U.S. webinar on October 21, which will cover the official NOAA Winter Outlook.



Tribal Lands Drought Monitoring

Speaker: Mark Junker, Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska

  • From the last National Climate Assessment, they knew that they would be experiencing more extremes in the future. They are planning for many different extremes, including flooding, wind, and drought.
  • They track conditions using a spreadsheet that was developed by Mike Hayes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This helps them keep track of various weather/climate indicators. It has been very helpful for them to track conditions.



Staying Connected: Drought Resources

Speaker: Crystal Stiles, NOAA's National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Here are various resources to stay informed about the drought conditions and climate/weather conditions overall:


Key Partners

This webinar was organized by the NOAA National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), USGS North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) Regional Climate Services, and USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub.