All of Minnesota now in some stage of drought

The entirety of Minnesota is now considered to be in some stage of drought, according to the latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Last week, about 2% of Minnesota’s land area was not in a drought area, but that margin has evaporated. The severity of drought across the state has worsened slightly, too.

As of Tuesday, more than half of the state (52.4%) is under moderate drought, and regions of severe drought expanded from 8.5% of the state to 11.3% in the past week. The rest (36.4%) is considered abnormally dry.

Right now, the areas of severe drought are concentrated around Rochester and a swath of east-central Minnesota stretching from the Twin Cities to Mille Lacs Lake and west to Little Falls.

Historically, June is the rainiest month in the Twin Cities, averaging 4.21 inches since 1871. Last month, the metro received just 0.93 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. It’s only the third June on record the area saw less than an inch of rain.

Severe drought is the point when wildlife starts to die off or search for alternative food sources and wildfire risk heightens to the point burn permits are required. Crop yields and river and well levels all decrease at this level, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.