Archived Story

Drought persists in parts of state

Published 8:00am Sunday, June 16, 2013

By Albert Lea Tribune and Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Believe it or not, a third of Minnesota is still rated as abnormally dry or even still in drought.

While the drought is over in the eastern half of Minnesota thanks to all the rain, Thursday’s update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of western Minnesota has not caught up.

A pocket of moderate-to-severe drought persists centered on parts of Renville and Redwood counties in southwestern Minnesota, while a moderate drought area is centered on Beltrami County in northwestern Minnesota.

Besides rainfall, the Drought Monitor also looks at soil moisture and stream and lake levels.

Overall, 34 percent of Minnesota is abnormally dry or worse, about a five-point improvement. That includes the nearly 13 percent of the state that’s still officially in a moderate or severe drought.

Freeborn County was last considered in a drought in the April 23 report. The April 30 report listed southern Freeborn County in drought and northern Freeborn County as abnormally dry. May 7 and 14 had the southern half as abnormally dry and the northern half as normal. The whole of Freeborn County was normal in the May 21 report.

Faribault County was all drought in the April 30 report except for the Wells area, which was abnormally dry. The following weeks had the Wells area as normal, with the rest of the county as abnormally dry. The whole county was normal in the May 28 report.