Minnesota Drought Situation Report - November 8, 2007
Drought Monitor - November 6, 2007
Substantial September and October rains flushed away drought concerns in most Minnesota counties. Only three months ago,
one half of Minnesota was considered to be experiencing "Severe" or "Extreme" drought
(12-week U.S. Drought Monitor animation).
The latest U. S. Drought Monitor(see map at right)
places a relatively small area of west central and central Minnesota in the "Moderate Drought" category. The area is approximately
centered on Wadena. Portions of northwestern and north central Minnesota remain designated as "Abnormally Dry", an acknowledgement of
some lingering precipitation deficits. All other Minnesota locales are deemed to be free of drought conditions.
The U. S. Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where intensity categories are based on several indicators.
Rainfall since late August:
Dryness was entrenched across northern and central Minnesota for much of the summer. However, September and October rains significantly improved the situation in most areas.
Rainfall for the two-month period from August 28 through October 29 totaled over eight inches in many locations (see map below). Rainfall totals
for this period were four or more inches in excess of the historical average (see map below) across large sections of central and
northern Minnesota. When compared with historical rainfall totals for the same two-month time frame, 2007 values ranked near, or above, all-time highs over much of
central and northeastern Minnesota.
(see map below).
Agriculture - The
Agricultural Statistics Service reports that as of November 2, topsoil moisture across 79% of Minnesota's landscape was "Adequate". This is a substantial improvement
from conditions reported in early August when nearly 85% of the state reported less than adequate soil moisture conditions.
Stream flow -Stream discharge values for roughly one half
of the state's rivers rank in the highest 25th percentile historically. Only five percent of Minnesota's rivers rank below the 25th percentile when compared with
historical data for this time of year. This is a substantial improvement from early September when stream flow in one third of the state's rivers ranked in the lowest quartile.
Lake levels -
Water levels remain below average on some Minnesota lakes. However, the wet autumn caused most Minnesota lakes to rebound to within a range of levels commonly found at
this time of year. In some cases, lake levels soared past mid-range in October and are now well above average. The
Lake Superior water level is up five inches from early October. While the Lake Superior water level is no longer near the all-time seasonal low, it remains well
below the long-term average.
Wildfire Danger - The Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry classifies current
wildfire danger as Low across most of Minnesota. Wildfire danger in the metropolitan area
is categorized as Moderate.