Drought Update; Nearly 50% of Minnesota in Extreme Drought; Duluth is running >16″ below normal in precipitation since 1/1/2020

Drought continues to worsen in Minnesota this week

  • 8% of Minnesota is in Exceptional Drought, up from 7% last week
  • 49% of Minnesota is in Extreme Drought, up from 42% last week
  • 88% of Minnesota is in Severe Drought, up from 77% last week
  • 96% of Minnesota is in Moderate Drought, up from 95% last week
  • 98% of Minnesota is Abnormally Dry, unchanged from last week

Streamflow over the past 2 weeks ranges from Extreme hydrologic drought to Severe hydrologic drought in much of northern Minnesota.

  • 2% of Wisconsin is in Severe Drought, unchanged from last week
  • 18% of Wisconsin is in Moderate Drought, unchanged from last week
  • 36% of Wisconsin is Abnormally Dry, up from 31% last week.
  • 1% of the Midwest is in Exceptional Drought, unchanged from last week
  • 9% of the Midwest is in Extreme Drought, up from 7% last week
  • 19% of the Midwest is in Severe Drought, up from 17% last week
  • 25% of the Midwest is in Moderate Drought, unchanged from last week
  • 38% of the Midwest is Abnormally Dry, unchanged from last week
  • 15% of North Dakota is in Exceptional Drought, up from 14% last week
  • 74% of North Dakota is in Extreme Drought, up from 73% last week
  • 99% of North Dakota is in Severe Drought, up from 96% last week
  • 100% of North Dakota is in Moderate Drought, and is Abnormally Dry, both are unchanged from last week
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Climate Prediction Center released their Seasonal Drought Outlook today which takes us through fall 2021, and unfortunately the news isn’t good, as our current drought in northeast Minnesota and extreme northwest Wisconsin is forecast to continue through November.

Soil moisture is running <2% to 10% of normal across northeast Minnesota and much of northwest Wisconsin as of August 19, 2021.

USDA Topsoil Moisture map for the week ending August 15, 2021.

Red: Very Dry
Yellow: Dry

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There’s only been 6 quarter inch or greater rainfall events in Duluth since the start of summer 2021 (June 1) and the pattern we’ve been locked into is one that has featured about a 2 week gap between significant rainfall events this summer, that’s not a good thing since we lose a lot of moisture due to evaporation during the summer.

By the way, the normal number of quarter inch or greater rainfall events in Duluth for June, July and August is 13.

Precipitation deficits for Duluth, Minnesota

Since January 1, 2021: -6.08″ below normal

Since June 1, 2021: -5.33″ below normal

And if you go all the way back to when this drought started, Duluth is running -16.13″ below normal since January 1, 2020.

Tim

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