Weather Blog: Late Summer-Autumn Drought

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, much of southern Minnesota is currently experiencing severe drought conditions. Elsewhere across the state, abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions are presently in place including Hennepin County.

The Twin Cities are yet to see measurable rainfall this month as only a trace of rain has been reported at MSP International Airport. The current Twin Cities rainfall deficit stands at 5.23 inches since Sept. 1.

Duluth is experiencing its sixth-driest meteorological autumn (the months of September, October, and November) on record as only 2.65 inches of precipitation has fallen since Sept. 1.

According to the Department of Natural Resources State Climatology Office, precipitation totals, for a large portion of the state, for the 15-week period from July 26 to Nov. 7 are below the long-term average by 5 to 9 inches.

When compared with the same 15-week period in the State Climatology Office’s historical database, this year’s precipitation totals rank among the lowest on record.

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Image courtesy: Minnesota Climatology Working Group

Not only has rainfall been a rarity but snow is off to a late start as well, as so far this season, only a trace of snow has been reported at Duluth and International Falls. According to the National Weather Service, the average date of the first measurable snowfall at Duluth is on Oct. 24 and Oct. 20 at International Falls.

A well-developed area of low pressure looks to impact the region this upcoming weekend and will likely bring the most significant chance for precipitation to Minnesota of the season thus far.


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