Drought conditions persist into July

Thursday’s report from the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) reflected minimal changes to the ongoing dry conditions in the Northland despite a wet stretch of weather to end June.

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 reveals continuing Moderate Drought conditions for the majority of northwest Wisconsin, east central Minnesota, and along Lake Superior’s North Shore. Much of Itasca County and Koochiching County moved from Abnormally Dry to Moderate Drought.

The area of Severe Drought around the Head of Lake Superior shifted slightly south. Much of Duluth to Two harbors improved from Severe to Moderate Drought.

Severe Drought persists for the southern edge of St. Louis County, east Carlton County, northern Douglas County, and northwest Bayfield County. A large swath of St. Louis County into western Lake County is experiencing Abnormally Dry conditions.

The report summary for the Midwest said that widespread changes occurred, as precipitation deficits grew and streamflow and soil moisture issues continued in locations that missed out on the rain, while drought and abnormal dryness improved to varying degrees in areas that saw more rain.

Thursday’s report does not account for rain that fell Tuesday, which brought localized amounts surpassing one inch to parts of northwest Wisconsin. The forecast calls for some rain to the region Friday into Saturday and Sunday into Monday. Full forecast available here.