Severe drought expands in northwest Wisconsin

Thursday’s report from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) reflected worsening conditions for parts of northwest Wisconsin and minimal changes to the ongoing dry conditions for much of northeast Minnesota.

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

Thursday’s report expanded the reach of severe drought along Lake Superior’s South Shore across northern Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland counties. An area of severe drought also now extends across parts of Washburn, Sawyer, and Price counties.

Moderate drought persists for much of the rest of northwest Wisconsin and now fills out Gogebic County and western Ontonagon County in the U.P.

In Minnesota, severe drought extends from central parts of the state into southern Crow Wing County, southern Aitkin County, and west Pine County.

Moderate drought continues for the majority of northeast Minnesota. The exception is parts of central and northern St. Louis County and northwest Lake County where conditions are abnormally dry.

The report summary for the Midwest said most of Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the lower Great Lakes Region recorded subnormal rainfall, persisting or worsening dryness in these regions.

Unfortunately, the current forecast does not provide much relief on the horizon. Drought conditions will be allowed to persist and possibly worsen by next week’s report. Check the forecast here.