Northland drought sees significant improvement

September has been extremely helpful with the ongoing drought. The latest report from the U.S. Drought monitor reflects improvement by one to two categories for most of the region.

Duluth’s year-to-date precipitation was 5.19″ behind normal on September 4th. The following 21 days brought ten inches of rain to Duluth, making it the second wettest September on record. Year-to-date precipitation was 2.18″ above normal through September 27th.

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 brought Duluth from severe drought (D2) to abnormally dry (D0). Much of the Minnesota Arrowhead is now in D0.

Much of the rest of northern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin have improved to moderate to severe drought. A portion of the South Shore improved from exceptional drought (D4) to moderate drought (D1) over the course of three weeks.

Extreme drought (D3) remains in north Cass County in Minnesota and in east central Price County in Wisconsin.

Rain is in the forecast Friday and the middle of next week.