Drought easing, fall color near peak in some spots up north

Exceptional drought is gone from Minnesota.

weather graphic
Current drought monitor vs. Aug. 24, 2021
U.S. Drought Monitor

It’s been a good week, and a good month for rainfall across most of Minnesota.

Parts of northern Minnesota have picked up 2 to 5 inches of rain in the past week. And a big chunk of Minnesota has received more than 5 inches of rainfall in the past month.

Here’s a look at rainfall totals for the past 30 days across Minnesota.

30-day precipitation
30-day precipitation.
Midwest Regional Climate Center

The extra rainfall has lead to a 1-class improvement in drought categories for much of central and northern Minnesota in this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report released Thursday.

Drought class change for the Midwest
Drought class change for the Midwest this week.
National Drought Mitigation Center

Parts of northern Minnesota slid into the exceptional drought category this summer for the first time on record. Our recent rainfall has erased that exceptional drought zone, but most of northern Minnesota is still in extreme drought.

The Twin Cities and much of central Minnesota remain in severe drought. Note that there is no drought in southwest and southeast Minnesota.

U.S. Drought Monitor for Minnesota
U.S. Drought Monitor for Minnesota.
USDA/UNL

Fall color peaking in some locations up north

Thursday’s updated fall color report shows colors are approaching peak now in parts of northwest and northeast Minnesota.

Fall color report
Fall color report.
Minnesota DNR

Most of the northern half of Minnesota is showing between 25 and 75-percent color. Most of southern Minnesota is still showing between 10 and 25-percent color.

Cool temperatures this weekend with lows in the 30s up north should continue to push colors toward peak in the northern half of Minnesota in the next week.

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