Drought 2009 (updated June 25, 2009)


Drought Monitor Map Drought Monitor Map - Previous Week Drought Monitor Legend
U.S. Drought Monitor
June 23, 2009
Previous Week

Portions of Minnesota are in the throes of drought. Minnesota's present drought conditions are the result of two spells of dry weather.

Long-term dry spell:
In east central and southeast Minnesota, a long-term episode of dryness began in mid-June of 2008 and continues to the present. Long-term precipitation deficits in these areas range from six to twelve inches (map below). Counties in this area are categorized as experiencing Moderate to Severe drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor (map at right). The greatest impacts of this drought are observed in east central Minnesota and extend east and north into north central Wisconsin.

2009 growing season dry spell:
2009 growing season precipitation has been well short of historical averages across most of the southern two-thirds of Minnesota. Many central and southern Minnesota counties are categorized as being Abnormally Dry (map at right). The area experiencing 2009 growing season precipitation shortfalls overlaps with the long-term drought area, amplifying the problem in those counties. Precipitation totals have been roughly one-half of the historical average since April 1, falling short of the average by two to five inches (maps below). Growing season precipitation for an area of west central Minnesota that extends roughly from Canby to Willmar to Alexandria to Wheaton, ranks below the 5th percentile (one year in 20) in the historical distribution. This area is relying heavily on moisture reserves built up during a wet autumn 2008 and a wet March 2009.

Recent developments:

total rainfall: June 16, 2009 - June 22, 2009

June is historically the wettest month of the year, averaging roughly an inch of rain per week. Weekly rainfall totals through Monday morning (June 22) failed to keep pace with climatological averages in drought-stricken areas north and east of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. (map at right). Welcome rain was received in central Minnesota counties such as Todd, Morrison, Stearns, and Benton where precipitation totals ranged from one to three inches. Needed rain also fell in southeastern Minnesota counties such as Steele, Dodge, and Wabasha. Excessive rain was reported in portions of Wilkin and Otter Tail counties in west central Minnesota, and northern Faribault and Freeborn counties in southeastern Minnesota. In some of these areas a deluge of three to seven inches of rain led to flooded fields, road washouts, and wet basements. Temperatures for the week were generally two to four degrees above the historical mean.

Daily radar-based precipitation estimates
Daily precipitation point values

Sector briefs:

Long-term deficit map:

total rainfall departure: June 1, 2008 - June 22, 2009

2009 growing season deficit maps:

total rainfall departure: April 1, 2009 - June 22, 2009 total rainfall percent of normal: April 1, 2009 - June 22, 2009 total rainfall rank: April 1, 2008 - June 22, 2009

Other Information: