Driest September on record for Twin Cities; drought widens in Minnesota

Only isolated shower chances the next few days

A pool of stagnant water sits at the base of a dry waterfall
Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis is seen in the midst of a severe drought on Tuesday. This is now the driest September on record for the Twin Cities.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Temperatures will be right near normal for most of Minnesota Thursday with partly cloudy skies and a few isolated sprinkles north. Temperatures will be above normal Friday and into the weekend.

Drought has also expanded across Minnesota in the past week.

Drought expands across Minnesota

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor maps show drought has expanded across Minnesota from 15 percent last week to now 22 percent of Minnesota. Severe drought remains at 4 percent of Minnesota and includes much of the Twin Cities area and part of southwestern Minnesota around Marshall.

The portion of Minnesota considered abnormally dry expanded from 42 percent last week to now most of Minnesota at 54 percent.

drought monitor full
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows drought expanding across Minnesota from last week
National Drought Mitigation Center

In the Twin Cities we’ve only seen 23 one-hundredths (.23) of an inch of rain, the least amount in September on record.

The following are rainfall deficits for September for some climate reporting stations:

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  • -2.60 inches, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

  • -2.55 inches, Chanhassen, southwest Twin Cities metro

  • -2.03 inches, Fargo-Moorhead on the North Dakota-Minnesota border

  • -1.13 inches, Eau Claire, Wis.

  • -0.65 of an inch, St. Cloud, central Minnesota

  • -0.53 of an inch, Duluth

  • -0.46 of an inch International Falls, far northern Minnesota

  • -0.42 of an inch, Brainerd, central Minnesota

  • -0.35 of an inch, Hibbing, northeastern Minnesota

The dry conditions are affecting local landmarks, including Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, where the water heading into the falls has dropped off significantly. At the source of the Minnehaha Creek, Lake Minnetonka, the height of the lake has dropped a full foot and a half since May.

Minnetonka gage height
Lake Minnetonka gauge height since May 1
United States Geological Survey

Temperatures continue trend upward

High temperatures Thursday will be seasonable, in the mid to upper 60s for the Twin Cities and much of southern Minnesota with low 70s popping up in southwestern Minnesota.

thu highs 8am
Forecast high temperatures Thursday will be near normal
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Pivotal Weather

The warmth expands Friday with highs in the low 70s in the Twin Cities and even mid-70s in southwestern Minnesota. Northeastern Minnesota will see highs well into the 60s.

fri highs 8am
Forecast high temperatures Friday
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

Only isolated rain shower chances

Precipitation will be pretty scant over the coming days. A few isolated shower are possible in northern Minnesota Thursday with perhaps one or two sprinkles Friday across central Minnesota. Sunday will bring another isolated rain shower chance only.

Forecast total rainfall over the next seven days
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

Extreme rainfall in Florida from Hurricane Ian

In addition to strong Category 4 strength winds and a storm surge that was likely around an astonishing 12 feet, Hurricane Ian’s rainfall has added to major flooding concerns.

radar est FL
Radar estimated rainfall for western Florida
College of DuPage

Radar estimates show a swath of 10 to 20 inches of rain fell across Florida’s Gulf Coast between Fort Myers and Sarasota.