Wet pattern wipes out drought in much of Minnesota

Drought areas more than cut in half this month.

Precipitation totals over the past 30 days
Precipitation totals over the past 30 days
Midwest Regional Climate Center

Good news on the drought situation in parts of Minnesota.

Our recent wet storms have dumped significant moisture across most of Minnesota. That’s wiped out previously growing drought areas in much of the state.

Most of Minnesota has picked up between 3 and 5 inches of precipitation over the past 30 days. But precipitation has been lighter in far northwest and southeast Minnesota.

Precipitation totals over the past 30 days
Precipitation totals over the past 30 days
Midwest Regional Climate Center

The precipitation departure from average map shows a big swath of central Minnesota has picked up nearly twice the average precipitation over the past 30 days.

Precipitation departure from average over the past 30 days
Precipitation departure from average over the past 30 days
Midwest Regional Climate Center

Drought busting rains

Abundant rainfall in southern Minnesota and a mix of rain and snow up north helped wipe out drought across parts of Minnesota. Cook County in far northeast Minnesota has improved from moderate drought to abnormally dry. Parts of western and northern Minnesota fared even better.

The moderate drought area in Minnesota dropped from 33 to 11 percent in this week’s update.

U.S. Drought Monitor for Minnesota
U.S. Drought Monitor for Minnesota
USDA/UNL

Here’s the assessment for the Midwest from the U.S. Drought Montior.

Midwest

Widespread precipitation across the Midwest led to broad improvements to drought across the region, erasing moisture deficits and improving soil moisture and streamflow. Locally heavy totals (more than 2 inches) led to a two-category improvement in western Minnesota. These short-term gains also finally chipped away at the D3 (exceptional drought) area in northwestern Iowa that had been in place since October 2020. Cooperative Extension notes that tile lines are running again and water is standing in roadside ditches. Soil moisture has also started to rebound.

Here’s what the various drought categories mean.

Drought categories for Minnesota
Drought categories for Minnesota
USDA/UNL

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