Drought 2009 (updated July 30, 2009)


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U.S. Drought Monitor
July 28, 2009 (released July 30)
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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 eight to fourteen inches (map below). Counties in this area are categorized as experiencing Severe Drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor (map at right). The greatest impacts of this long-term spell of dry weather are observed in east central Minnesota and extend northeast into northwestern and north central Wisconsin.

2009 growing season dry spell:
With a few dramatic exceptions, 2009 growing season precipitation has been well short of historical averages nearly everywhere in Minnesota. Many Minnesota counties are categorized as being Abnormally Dry or undergoing Moderate Drought (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 30% to 70% of normal since April 1, falling short of average by four to seven inches (maps below). Growing season precipitation totals for a section of west central Minnesota and portions of eastern Minnesota rank below the 2nd percentile (one year in 50) in the historical distribution.

Recent developments:

total rainfall: July 21, 2009 - July 27, 2009

Weekly rainfall totals through Monday morning, July 27 (map at right) exceeded one inch in many eastern, central, and northern Minnesota counties. Rainfall totals topped three inches in a narrow band from Brainerd to Moose Lake. Temperatures for the week were once again cool, averaging two to five degrees below the historical mean. The seasonally cool weather in July has led to lower than average evaporation rates and kept the drought situation from deteriorating more rapidly.

Daily radar-based precipitation estimates
Daily precipitation point values

Sector briefs:

Long-term deficit map:

total rainfall departure: June 1, 2008 - July 27, 2009

2009 growing season deficit maps:

total rainfall departure: April 1, 2009 - July 27, 2009 total rainfall percent of normal: April 1, 2009 - July 27, 2009 total rainfall rank: April 1, 2008 - July 27, 2009

Other Information: