There's good news and bad news in this week's drought report

Drought eases in southwest MInnesota. But extreme to exceptional drought remains across northern Minnesota.

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

It’s been another week of positive news for parts of Minnesota in this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report.

Thursday’s update shows a 1-class drought category improvement in southwest Minnesota compared to last week. Parts of southwest Minnesota and southeast Minnesota are now drought-free.

But most of central and northern Minnesota remain in severe to extreme drought. There is also a wedge of exceptional drought that persists from near International Falls through Red Lake to the northeast of Fargo.

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

Twin Cities rides the droughty edge

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has received 7.84 inches of rainfall since August 4. That’s enough rainfall to generate a 1 to 2-class improvement in drought conditions in the past four weeks. Unfortunately, northeast Minnesota has slid deeper into drought.

4-week drought class changes
Four-week drought class changes.
National Drought Mitigation Center

Much of the far eastern Twin Cities is now categorized as abnormally dry. Most of the Twin Cities area is still listed in the moderate drought category, with northwest areas still in severe drought.

Drought categories for the Twin Cities
Drought categories for the Twin Cities.
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Highly varied streamflow across Minnesota

Our wet month has boosted streamflow in southern Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin. But northern Minnesota streams and rivers are still running very low. Check out the wide differences from north to south across Minnesota.

Streamflow across MInnesota and Wisconsin
Streamflow across MInnesota and Wisconsin.
Twin Cities National Weather Service

The Mississippi River in the Twin Cities has recovered slightly from recent rains. Check out the three-year trend below.

Mississippi River streamflow in the Twin Cities
Mississippi River streamflow in the Twin Cities for the past three years.
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Most of northern and central Minnesota still needs rainfall to run several inches above average to ease drought conditions this fall.

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