Last week various pious South Dakotans organized a “Pray for Rain Campaign.” These public Christians petitioned their preferred supernatural being for precipitation on Wednesday, July 12, at 7 p.m.
Statewide rainfall data immediately after the event provided inconclusive evidence at best of the hydrogenerative power of this spiritual activity. So, a full week out, let’s compare the statewide drought maps for July 11 and July 18 from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Drought Monitor:
The portion of South Dakota in official drought conditions increased over the past week from 72.41% pre-rain-prayer to 82.10% post-rain-prayer. The portion of the state experiencing no dry conditions shrank from 6.84% pre-rain-prayer to 0.03% post-rain-prayer. (0.01% of that 0.03% may be the puddle by my curb where First Street still doesn’t drain properly.)
That big red spot in north central South Dakota is “D3”, “Extreme Drought.” None of the state has yet entered the worst category, “D4”, “Exceptional Drought.”