Extreme drought conditions expand across northern, southern Minnesota

Dry conditions have considerably worsened since last week’s drought report in Minnesota.

Early Thursday morning, new data posted by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed just over 10% of the state is now in an extreme drought, up from last week’s report of 1.74%.

A section of land stretching from the Wisconsin border of Carlton and Pine Counties to Wadena and Hubbard Counties is included in that category, as well as much of the southeast corner of the state. That stretch runs from Freeborn County east to the Wisconsin border and north into extreme southern Wabasha County.

All of the Twin Cities metro is under moderate or severe drought conditions. More than three-fourths of the state is experiencing moderate drought, while 38.54% of that area is under a severe drought.

As of this week, only 0.09% of the state isn’t experiencing any kind of abnormally dry conditions – a small pocket of land that extends from the southwest corner of Clay County and into the northwest corner of Wilkin County. Three months ago, that percentage was 34.37%, and a year ago, 79.88%.

In Wisconsin, Pierce, St. Croix and Dunn Counties are all experiencing no drought, abnormally dry or moderate drought conditions. However, much of the western side of the state is experiencing extreme drought conditions. While a sliver of land across Douglas and Bayfield Counties is still in exceptional drought, the good news is that the percentage of land in that condition – 0.66% -is unchanged from last week.

However, much of the southwest part of the state, as well as nearly all of Washburn County and parts of Barron and Sawyer Counties, are in an extreme drought. 16.76% of the state is under that category, up from 12.9% last week. At this time last year, no areas in Wisconsin were under extreme or exceptional drought.

The current seven-day forecast calls for extremely high temperatures in the 90s starting Friday and stretching into the beginning of next week. Scattered thunderstorms are possible next week Tuesday and Wednesday.

The latest forecast can be found HERE.

Editor’s Note: This article previously stated that a little more than 10% of Minnesota land was in a severe drought, and not an extreme drought. It has since been corrected.