MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Drought conditions in Minnesota have worsened over the last week.
WCCO-TV meteorologist Mike Augustyniak says that the numbers are up by about 50%, with 75% of the state now experiencing moderate drought and 14% of the state experiencing severe drought.
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Severe drought indicates crop losses and the recession of rivers and lakes. These effects are being seen along the Iowa border and in an area of northwestern Minnesota, north of Moorhead.
According to Augustyniak, Minnesota hasn’t seen drought conditions like this since at least 2014.
☀️ SEVERE DROUGHT conditions now cover 14% of #MNwx, and MODERATE DROUGHT covers 75% of the state. These numbers are up about 50% in the last week 📈 #WIwx drought conditions are roughly unchanged. pic.twitter.com/knmdXmvmqw
— Mike Augustyniak (@MikeAugustyniak) June 24, 2021
While rain is in the forecast for Thursday evening in southern Minnesota, much of the state looks to remain dry.
To slow the effects of drought, at least an inch of rainfall is needed each week, experts say. However, not much rain is in the immediate forecast, and weather officials say the end of June looks to bring another round of hot and dry weather.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the first week of July looks to bring a lower-than-average chance of precipitation, particularly in northwestern Minnesota.
Minnesota began experiencing drought during a record-breaking heat wave earlier this month, with a string of days with temperatures in the 90s.
Two weeks ago, only 10% of the state was under drought conditions. Now, most of the state is experiencing drought. The only areas that are listed as merely dry are in northern Minnesota, mainly in the Arrowhead.
To see the weekly shift in drought condition, see this comparison slider from the U.S. Drought Monitor.