If you were hoping that 2022 was going to be the year Wyoming's drought ends, chances are that's not going to happen.

Since 1999 Wyoming's drought has been constant, with only a couple stretches when the conditions improved. A stretch between 2008-2012 and 2014-2015 were the only years when Wyoming has seen decent conditions in the 23 year period.

This map from Drought.gov shows that 2022 isn't starting out that great. Even with recent snow and precipitation the state has received, we're really dry.

Wyoming Drought Map
drought.gov
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According to drought.gov 100% of Wyoming is abnormally dry, 97.3% is in moderate drought 62.8% is in severe drought and 19.7% is in extreme drought. Which makes Wyoming in the top 5 of driest states in the country.

The Top Five Driest States Overall Are (according to usabythenumbers.com):

  1. Nevada
  2. Utah
  3. Wyoming
  4. Arizona
  5. New Mexico

Conditions don't look to improve anytime soon either. There hasn't really been any significant snow fall that will impact the spring melt, even though there have been a couple cold/snowy snaps that have made their way through in the last few weeks. Currently the Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) overall in Wyoming is only at 83% compared to 95% last year during this same time period.

You may be wondering how this is going to effect the state this year and they could be significant.

  • Agriculture
    • low soil moisture - has effects on grazing land, growing land
    • water levels
    • crop growth
  • Wildlife
    • food / water shortage which increases the opportunity of disease
  • Fire Danger
    • wildfires can start and spread easier in dry conditions
  • Recreation/Tourism
    • Fires could close tourist attractions
    • low water levels could impact fishing/watersports

If conditions don't improve and relief doesn't happen soon, we could be looking at a dry, hot, long rest of 2022.

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