Drought Conditions Worsen in Minnesota
Drought conditions continue to expand across Minnesota last week.
The updated Drought Monitor Report from the National Weather Service shows just under 80% of the state is experiencing at least abnormally dry conditions. Olmsted County is included in the 43% of Minnesota that is currently rated as abnormally dry.
Moderate drought conditions could be found in areas along the Mississippi River in Winona County, the north half of Wabasha County, and nearly all of Goodhue County. Overall, approximately 36% of the state is in a moderate drought.
“Precipitation deficits in fall and leading through the winter can often dictate drought conditions leading into the spring,” said Dan Hawblitzel, meteorologist-in-charge with NOAA/National Weather Service in Chanhassen. “That was the case for the 2021 drought and it is possible these deficits in late 2022 will persist into 2023.”
Severe and extreme drought conditions can still be found across an area running from southwestern Minnesota and through the Twin Cities. A pocket of extreme drought persists from St. Paul through Minneapolis and to areas to the southwest and west of the Twin Cities. Another pocket of extreme drought is located in southwestern Minnesota in Redwood, Lyon, and Lincoln counties.
The extreme drought areas cover just over 4% of the state, while more than 12% of the state is now experiencing severe drought conditions. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources estimates areas experiencing extreme drought conditions will need to see at least 5-8 inches of rain over the next several weeks to replenish water resources.