With 2014 starting to wind down and a whole new set of Top 10 Weather Days just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to take a trip down memory lane. The past year was full of weather extremes. On the cusp of the change from fall to winter, Kylie Bearse sat down with the rest of the WCCO weather team to look back at all Minnesota has endured this past year.
If beef is what’s for dinner at your house, it’s going to cost you more. Beef prices are the highest they’ve been in 27 years. Fewer cattle, drought and cold weather are all contributing to push prices to an average of $5.04 per pound in January Penny Jernberg, general manager of the 5-8 Club in Minneapolis, says the demand for her restaurant’s trademark juicy Lucy burger is steady, while prices for the main ingredient are climbing.
This week’s update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that an area of severe drought in central Minnesota has expanded eastward into Wisconsin.
A growing number of Minnesota farmers are relying on irrigation to ensure they can produce a crop when the weather turns dry. So far this year, Minnesota Public Radio reports, farmers have applied for 466 irrigation permits.
The late-summer drought is deepening in central Minnesota, according to data released Thursday. The new U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that several counties in central Minnesota are now in a severe drought.
Seppman Mill is approaching its 150th anniversary next year inside Minneopa State Park in Mankato, but park officials are worried it could crumble.
A growing season that began unusually wet and cold in the Midwest is finishing hot and dry, renewing worries of drought and its impact on crops.
With high temperatures and drought conditions in parts of the state, fire officials are warning about the risk of wildfires and urging people to be careful in dry areas. Tom Fasteland is a coordinator with the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center in Grand Rapids. He says part of the state is still covered with green vegetation, which reduces the risk of fire, but the landscape can change quickly in a heat wave. He says people should be careful in recreational parts of the state. He says areas around Bemidji, Detroit Lakes and Cass Lake are dry, and in parts of northern and central Minnesota the fire-danger rating is “high” or “very high.”
As drought conditions return to Minnesota, authorities warned Thursday that the wildfire danger is rising throughout much of the state. A new area of moderate drought is centered on Carlton and northern Pine counties in eastern Minnesota.
Cornfields and pastures are drying out across parts of central and eastern Minnesota, leading some cattle producers to thin out their herds. There hasn’t been significant rain in parts of the region for several weeks, and corn and soybeans are wilting on land that’s not irrigated, said Dan Martens, a University of Minnesota Extension educator
Our soggy spring and now mild summer weather makes it feel like summer will be short lived this season. In fact, some trees in St. Paul are already changing color. Overcast skies, a slight breeze and when the sun goes down some folks have a hard time determining what season we are in here in Minnesota. Most Minnesotans know this is not typical for August. Sweaters and jackets were well represented by walkers on the Nicollet Mall Saturday.
Evergreen trees in western Wisconsin – the Hudson area specifically – are dying. It may be related to the drought, but forestry specialists still aren’t sure why it’s so centralized. In Minneapolis’ Theodore Wirth Park, evergreens seem to be green and healthy. And the Minnesota DNR says they have not seen a dying evergreen problem on the state’s east side.
Wet weather has put some farmers way behind schedule. Corn and soybeans have been a struggle this year, so has alfalfa.
This week’s update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows more improvement in parts of south-central and eastern Minnesota, where areas that had been abnormally dry are now rated normal.
There’s good news regarding Minnesota’s drought: It’s easing up considerably.