Exceptional drought conditions reported in parts of Minnesota; extreme drought expands in Iowa

(ABC 6 News) – As the fall season approaches, dry conditions continue to worsen across Minnesota and Iowa.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor’s latest report released Thursday, exceptional drought conditions are now being reported in 1.4% of the state’s land including parts of Mower and Freeborn County. Last week, no parts of Minnesota were in exceptional drought.

Extreme drought conditions also have worsened since last week covering 16.1% of the state’s land, up from 10.1%, and covers most of southeast Minnesota including all of Olmsted, Mower and most of Fillmore, and Dodge County.

Essentially, all of Minnesota is experiencing some kind of drought, with just 0.08% of the state having no abnormally dry conditions.

The last time Minnesota had exceptional drought conditions was almost exactly two years ago on Sept. 14, 2021. Records show that parts of northern Minnesota was experiencing that level of drought.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, extreme drought conditions are being reported across 24.6% of the state, up from 17.6% last week. Extreme drought covers most areas east of I-35 and north of I-80 in northeast and eastern Iowa.

The latest report has no parts of Iowa in exceptional drought.

Below is a brief description of extreme and exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Exceptional Drought (D4): Exceptional and widespread crop and pasture losses, exceptional fire risk, shortages of water in reservoirs, streams and wells causing water emergencies.

Extreme Drought (D3): Major crop/pasture losses; widespread water shortages or restrictions.

The ABC 6 Weather First team says we are holding off on our next best chance for rain until later Saturday evening, lasting on & off through Sunday. It’s too early to talk specific details on how much rain we’ll get, however we will take any at this point.

As of Thursday morning, we are down nearly 5.5″ from where we should be by now for our year-to-date precipitation totals. By the end of the year on average, we should be close to 35″ for that total.

For the latest forecast information, CLICK HERE.