How our recent rain measures up to long-term dry conditions
With much of our region in extreme drought, Monday’s rain brought a welcome sight for many. The numbers coming in show a healthy heaping of rain with some communities getting anywhere from 3 to 6 inches overall. In order to look at how this rain helps with the drought, Meteorologist Brandon Weathers says we need to take a look at some specific stations across our region that are consistently providing reliable data for records and monthly normals.
Those stations are Ashland, Duluth, Hibbing, International Falls, and Brainerd. Of these stations, both International Falls and Brainerd set daily records with how much rain they received on September 20. International Falls got a full two inches of rain; more than an inch above that previous record.
Keep this two inch number in mind for that one day as we take a look at how dry previous months have been. For the entire month of May, International Falls got just over a half inch of rain. June, less than two inches, and in July they received less than an inch and a half. August was one month that was closer to normal precipitation. That’s a total of 6.48 inches from May through August in International Falls.
If we look at how far we fell from normal, International Falls was 2.44 inches behind just in May alone. We go into July dry, and we fall another 2.62” behind on monthly rain. June was another 2.07” behind. That’s over 7 inches below normal rainfall. August, fortunately, did not add to the deficit for International Falls. However, much of the Northland had another below normal month in August.
If we look at Duluth’s numbers, August was 1.29” behind the monthly normal. July was 1.17” behind, June had a 2.60” deficit, and May fell short by 1.49 inches. That’s overly six inches below normal rainfall.
Ashland’s monthly rain deficits began in May at -1.48,” followed by -2.34” in June, -2.10” in July, and -2.06” in August.
If we look at how September is stacking up, we could possibly see rainfall totals above normal for the first time in a long time. However, September is not over yet.
Brandon says, Monday’s rain certainly helped, but we still have a long way to go.