Extreme drought conditions expand across southeast Minnesota

(ABC 6 News) – Drought conditions continue to worsen across Minnesota especially extreme drought in the southeast part of the state.

The latest data released by the U.S. Drought Monitor on Thursday shows just under 3% of Minnesota is experiencing extreme drought conditions which is up from 1.5% last week.

Extreme drought has expanded further westward across southeast Minnesota and now covers central/southern Dodge County, eastern Steele County and northern Mower County. Most of Olmsted County and northwestern Fillmore County are also being plagued by extreme drought conditions.

Severe drought conditions cover almost 34% of the state, including almost all of southeast Minnesota, up from nearly 30% last week.

The new data captures any rain that fell in the last week, from Wednesday, July 26 through 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

Meanwhile, in Iowa, while extreme drought conditions were essentially unchanged from the previous week, covering 4% of the state, severe drought conditions saw a dramatic increase from 18% last week to just over 30% this week.

Credit: U.S. Drought Monitor

Impacts of severe drought are below:

  • Dryland corn has extremely low yields; commodity shortages are noted; livestock is stressed.
  • Fewer mosquitos are noted.
  • Fire danger is high.
  • Surface water levels are low; algae blooms increase; voluntary water conservation is requested.

Impacts of extreme drought are below:

  • Pastures are dry; producers sell cattle; crops are tested for toxins, crops have pest infestation.
  • Seasonal allergies are worse; farmers are stressed about high feed prices.
  • Trees drop leaves; acorns are underdeveloped.
  • Warm water leads to fish kills; streambed are low-to-dry.

The ABC 6 Weather First Team said some rain finally looks to return this weekend, along with the chance for thunderstorms. The overall severe threat will remain low. While there’s a chance for a shower or storm on Saturday, some heavier rains look possible on Sunday.

Get the latest weather information, HERE.