Drought expands across Minnesota; 4th driest meteorological summer for Twin Cities

Twin Cities' rainfall is more than 6 inches below average since June 1

Drought categories for the Twin Cities
Drought categories for the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor update for Minnesota shows what we expected. The area of drought in Minnesota is slowly expanding.

Drought categories for Minnesota
Drought categories for Minnesota.
U.S. Department of Agriculture / University of Nebraska

Here are some quick stats on the current drought status in Minnesota.

  • This was the fourth driest June and July on record for the Twin Cities. (Records date back to the 1870s)

  • 34 percent of Minnesota is now either classified as abnormally dry or in drought

  • Overall drought area in Minnesota increased to 14 percent from seven percent last week

  • Most of Twin Cities area is now in severe drought status

Drought categories
Drought categories and effects.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Rainfall deficits growing

For June and July, Twin Cities rainfall was 6.33 inches below average. Here is a look at rainfall trends over the past two weeks.

Observed rainfall
Observed rainfall and temperatures.
Twin Cities National Weather Service office

Crops and lawns are showing some stress in parts of central and southern Minnesota. But this week’s Minnesota Crop Report shows 63 percent of corn is in good to excellent condition in Minnesota.

Crop conditions
Crop conditions.

Weekend rainfall?

There are still signs of possibly significant rainfall this weekend. Forecast models indicated slow-moving storms may dump local multi-inch rainfall in some locations across southern Minnesota.

European model (ECMWF) precipitation output
European model precipitation output through Sunday.
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, via Pivotal Weather

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