Minnesota Drought Situation Report - October 11, 2007

Announcement: Due to improving conditions, and a less drought-sensitive time of year, this situation report will be updated monthly instead of weekly during the autumn and winter. The narrative will be prepared on the first Thursday of each month. The document will be revised more frequently if notable changes in the drought situation occur.

Drought Monitor - October 9, 2007
Drought Monitor Map
Drought Monitor Legend

Drought Status:
The latest U. S. Drought Monitor (see map at right) shows continued improvement in drought conditions for many Minnesota counties (view previous week's map). Heavy rains across much of Minnesota last week eliminated the Severe Drought designation in southern St. Louis and southern Lake counties, and substantially decreased the geographic extent of the Moderate Drought polygons in central and northwestern Minnesota. The primary areas of concern at this time are pockets of Severe Drought centered on Wadena and International Falls.

The drought situation in northern Minnesota is the result of a very dry 2006, a snow-sparse 2006-2007 winter, and dry 2007 mid-summer weather. The drought situation in the central third of Minnesota is due to an extremely dry 2007 growing season (see: 12-week U.S. Drought Monitor animation).

The U. S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on several indicators.

Weekly Precipitation Map Last week's weather:
Rainfall totals for the week ending Monday morning, October 8 were moderate to heavy across much of the southeastern two-thirds of Minnesota. Weekly rainfall totals in excess of two inches were common in these areas (see map at left). After Monday's map data deadline, an additional one to two inches of rain fell in northwestern Minnesota on October 8. Long-term average rainfall rates are now around one half inch per week. Temperatures last week were very warm, averaging eight to twelve degrees above normal. Temperatures in many Minnesota locations climbed into the 80's at least once last week.

Rainfall since early June:
Dryness was entrenched across northern and central Minnesota for much of the summer. September and early October rains significantly improved the situation in many areas. However, rainfall for the eighteen-week period from June 5 through October 8 totaled less than ten inches for some locations in west central and central Minnesota (see map below). In these areas, rainfall totals for the period were four or more inches short of the historical average (see map below). When compared with historical rainfall totals for the same eighteen-week time frame, 2007 values ranked at or below the 10th percentile (one year in ten occurrence) in some areas of west central Minnesota (see map below). The period from May through September is historically the wettest time of the year in Minnesota. Long-term average rainfall rates during the heart of the summer are around one inch per week. Very dry weather, occurring during a time of year when ample rain is typical, leads to the rapid intensification of drought. The lack of precipitation, along with very high evaporation rates, produced deteriorating crop conditions, lower stream flows and lake levels, and increased wildfire danger.

June 5 to October 8 2007 Precipitation June 5 to October 8 2007 Precipitation Departure Map June 5 to October 8 2007 Precipitation Ranking Map

Sector briefs:

More drought information resources are found at http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/drought_information_resources.htm.

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URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/drought_situation_report_2007_071011.htm
Last modified: October 11, 2007