Drought continues in the Northland with slight improvements

The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor has unchanged conditions for much of the region with slight improvements over parts 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

An area of northeast Minnesota including parts of Aitkin, Itasca, St. Louis, Lake, and Cook Co. saw improvements by one level thanks to heavy rain at the start of the period. There was one area of deterioration with much of Price County going from severe to exceptional drought.

Parts of central St. Louis Co. and most of Lake Co. and Cook Co. have improved from moderate drought (D1) to abnormally dry (D0). Severe drought (D2) pulled pack slightly in southeast Itasca Co. and south St. Louis Co. and extreme drought (D3) pulled back a bit in south St. Louis Co. and northeast Aitkin Co.

Severe to extreme drought continues unchanged across the majority of northwest Wisconsin, east central Minnesota, and north central Minnesota. Exceptional drought (D4) has remained unchanged over an intersection of Carlton, Aitkin, and Pine Co. including Moose Lake.

The majority of the Northland is not expected to meet normal rainfall over the coming week. The exception would be western and southern parts of the region that may pick up accumulation over the weekend. Check the full forecast here.