Extreme drought expanded in Minnesota

Another week with below-average rainfall has allowed drought conditions to worsen for parts of Minnesota and remain constant elsewhere.

August has shaped up to be another dry month. As of August 31, both Duluth and Hibbing have a monthly rain deficit of 1.93″. Ashland’s month to date deficit is 1.19″, and International Falls is only 0.38″ below average.

The USDM is a joint effort by National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is updated on Thursday mornings with data from observations made at 7 a.m. CST on Tuesdays.

Drought intensity is measured in increments from D0 to D4:

  • D0 = Abnormally Dry
  • D1 = Moderate Drought
  • D2 = Severe Drought
  • D3 = Extreme Drought
  • D4 = Exceptional Drought

The main change with Thursday’s report was an expansion of extreme drought (D3) from the South Shore to the southern tip of St. Louis Co., Carlton Co., North Pine Co., Central Aitkin Co., Crow Wing Co., and South Cass Co.

Extreme drought is ongoing for the northern halves of Douglas and Bayfield Co. with exceptional drought (D4) ongoing for portions of both counties. D3 is also ongoing for much of Washburn Co. into western Sawyer Co.

Moderate Drought (D1) continues for the Iron Range, and much of the rest of the region south of there is in at least severe drought (D2).

Unfortunately, there is very little opportunity for moisture in the current forecast. Areas that have maintained steady drought levels in recent reports may see worsening conditions by the next Drought Monitor report.