Drought easing but still lingers in much of Minnesota

Much of southwest Minnesota is now drought-free. Next update arrives Thursday morning.

Drought categories for Minnesota
Drought categories for Minnesota.
USDA/UNL

Drought conditions continue to ease across much of Minnesota. The trend started in late summer when more regular rains began to sweep the Upper Midwest.

Note how the percentage of drought (D1-D4) in the image above has dropped from 98 percent three months ago to 62 percent as of last week’s drought report. The next U.S. Drought Monitor report for Minnesota will be released Thursday morning.

Wet October in western Minnesota

October has been wet in western Minnesota. Many locations have picked up 2 to 4 inches of rain, while some areas have seen more than 5 inches in far western Minnesota.

Rainfall totals in October
Rainfall totals in October.
Midwest Regional Climate Center

Our midweek rain system is delivering another minor soaking to Minnesota and the Upper Midwest through Thursday. Rains are still working through Minnesota, but so far the system has dropped some meaningful rainfall in eastern South Dakota as it edges into western Minnesota.

Here are some rainfall totals reported from the Sioux Falls National Weather Service office as of Wednesday afternoon.

Rainfall totals
Rainfall totals Wednesday.
Sioux Falls NWS

Most areas will likely end up between 0.5 and 1 inches of rainfall with this system by late Thursday.

Rainfall forecast
Rainfall forecast.
NOAA/Twin Cities National Weather Service

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