But really… how dry has it been?

Our friends at NWS La Crosse have put together an excellent drought summary page and keep it updated every week. Here is what they’ve said about this recent stretch of dry weather:

Through May 15, Rochester International Airport received 15.78 inches of precipitation. This was 6.28 inches wetter than the 1991-2020 normal of 9.50 inches. From May 16 through July 4, only 1.41 inches of rain fell. This was 6.89 inches drier than the 1991-2020 normal of 8.30 inches. This was the driest ever recorded for that time period. The previous record was 1.57 inches in 1964. Records go back to 1887. This was just 17% of the normal precipitation during this time period and this flipped the yearly precipitation departure to a 0.61 inches deficit. Temperatures averaged 67.4°F from May 16 through July 4. This was 2.6°F warmer than the 1991-2020 normal of 65.5°F. This was tied for the 11th warmest with 1931 for this time period. The combination of very dry conditions and anomalously warm temperatures allowed moderate (D1) to severe (D2) drought to develop in this area in just over a month and a half. This is the first time that Olmsted County has had a severe (D2) drought since April 9, 2013.

NWS La Crosse Drought Summary Page