Moderate, severe drought conditions expand in Minnesota, extreme drought worsens in Wisconsin

Dry conditions continue to worsen across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday shows areas with moderate and severe drought conditions have each expanded by roughly 10% since the last report was issued.

Severe drought increased from 18.23% to 29.66%, while moderate drought or worse covers 80.32% of Minnesota. Most of the severe drought areas include Twin Cities metro, as well as much of the eastern and east-central parts of the state.

Extreme drought conditions are still reported in and around St. Cloud, as well as Anoka County and parts of Olmsted, Dodge, Mower and Fillmore Counties. The percentage of land experiencing that level of dryness is the same as last week’s report – 1.49%.

As of Tuesday morning, there continues to be no part of Minnesota not experiencing any kind of dryness.

Drought conditions map for Minnesota in a report released on Thursday, July 27, 2023.

Thursday’s report doesn’t include any precipitation that fell after 7 a.m. Tuesday. Since then, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has received 1.06″ of rain. That will be included in next week’s drought report.

Other areas may have received more than that, as strong storms moved through Kandiyohi and Stearns County Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

RELATED: Kandiyohi County residents clean up after high winds and rain tear through their community

In Wisconsin, extreme drought has increased across the state since last week to 12.7% of the land. Much of that is along the South Shore of Lake Superior, as well as a large swath of land across the southwest part of the state.

Meanwhile, severe drought conditions increased from 42% to 46.5%, while moderate drought conditions stayed relatively level, but rose slightly from 82.02% to 82.44%.

Drought conditions for Wisconsin in a report released on Thursday, July 27, 2023.

Additional rain could fall across the region Thursday evening and during the overnight hours – a First Forecast Alert has been issued for Thursday due to heat, but also for the possibility of severe storms late Thursday. Intense rainfall, as well as damaging winds and large hail are possible after 6 p.m. CLICK HERE for the latest forecast and HERE for the radar.