Drought 2009 (updated October 29, 2009)


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U.S. Drought Monitor
Oct. 27, 2009 (released Oct. 29)
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Minnesota's present drought conditions are the result of two spells of dry weather.

2009 growing season dry spell:
2009 growing season precipitation totals were well short of historical averages across much of Minnesota. Although early-October rains improved the situation in some locales, many Minnesota counties continue to be categorized as Abnormally Dry or undergoing Moderate to Severe drought (map at right). In the drier areas of north central Minnesota, precipitation totals have been roughly 50% to 75% of normal since April 1, falling short of average by six or more inches (maps below).

2008-2009 long-term dry spell:
In east central Minnesota, a long-term episode of dryness began in mid-June of 2008 and continued into Autumn 2009. Long-term precipitation deficits in this area range from eight to fourteen inches (map at bottom of page). Affected counties are categorized as experiencing Moderate drought by the U.S. Drought Monitor(map at right).

Recent developments:

total rainfall: October 20, 2009 - October 26, 2009

Weekly rainfall totals through Monday morning, October 26 (map at right) exceeded one inch in many Minnesota counties. The heaviest rains fell in southeastern Minnesota where weekly totals topped three inches. October rainfall totals to-date exceed five inches in many locales in the southern two-thirds of the state, topping the historical October average by more than three inches.

Temperatures last week were again below normal nearly everywhere in Minnesota. October 2009 will be remembered as one of the coldest Octobers on record.

Sector briefs:

2009 seasonal precipitation deficit maps:

total rainfall departure: April 1, 2009 - October 26, 2009 total rainfall percent of normal: April 1, 2009 - October 26, 2009 total rainfall rank: April 1, 2008 - October 26, 2009

2008-2009 long-term precipitation deficit map:

total rainfall departure: June 1, 2008 - October 26, 2009

Other Information: