Sauchyn Stroich Beriault-2003-A paleoclimatic context for the drought of 1999-2001 in the northern Great Plains of North America

The least annual precipitation in the western interior of North America occurs in the
northern Great Plains, including an area that encompasses parts of south-eastern Alberta,
south-western Saskatchewan and eastern Montana. During 1999–2001, most climate
stations in this region had record low precipitation. This paper examines this three-year
drought in the context of historical climate records from Medicine Hat, Alberta and
Havre, Montana and summer (June–July) and annual (August–July) precipitation reconstructed from standardized tree-ring widths (residual chronologies) from Pinus contorta
(lodgepole pine) sampled in the Cypress Hills of Alberta and Saskatchewan and the Bears
Paw Mountains of north-central Montana. Drought is operationally defined as precipitation
in the lower 10th and 20th percentiles.