The latest drought monitor shows extreme and exceptional drought increasing across Minnesota. A slowly moving storm system could bring beneficial rains this weekend.
Worst drought conditions widen
The latest drought monitor is mostly bad news for Minnesota.
Overall drought has decreased from about 98 percent of the state to 94 percent of the state, mostly due to improvement in northeastern Minnesota. Extreme and exceptional drought, however, the highest categories, have increased.
When comparing this week to last week’s drought monitor you can see the obvious visible change is the expansion of extreme drought to now include much of central, east central into southeastern Minnesota.
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While the summer was very dry, September continues that dry trend. Only northeastern Minnesota has seen normal or even above normal precipitation in the past 30 days. Most of central and southern Minnesota have seen a mere fraction of normal 30-day rainfall.
Below is the percentage of normal rainfall for the past 30 days:
In the past seven days, the time between the two most recent drought monitors, there have been narrow swaths of decent rainfall but they’re overall localized rather than widespread.
A soggy weekend is developing
Rain is likely starting in western Minnesota Friday night and across most of the state into Saturday and Sunday. Ahead of that there will be a few spotty showers and storms Thursday and Friday mainly in northern and northwestern Minnesota.
Total rainfall through early next week could be significant and cover most of Minnesota. Northeastern Minnesota looks to see the least but keep in mind those are areas that have seen normal or above-normal rainfall in recent weeks.