Minnesota is officially drought-free after a rainy spring

Minnesota's drought is officially over for the first time in two years following heavy rainfall this spring.

After an abnormally dry winter, spring in Minnesota has been wet and rainy. The rainy spring has virtually eliminated the drought in the state, which has experienced significant drought conditions since 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). 

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports the majority of Minnesota is currently out of drought, with only a sliver of north central Minnesota being abnormally dry. The very wet spring has made it so nearly all the Midwest is drought-free, with parts of Iowa, southern Minnesota and southern Wisconsin receiving more than 15 inches of rain in the last 90 days. 

Drought map of Minnesota as of June 6. Photo courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor.  (Supplied)

That sliver of abnormally dry conditions accounts for 2% of Minnesota, which has decreased from 11% last week, the DNR said.

According to the DNR, the Twin Cities got 12.51 inches of rain from March to May, which is 41% above the season normal. The majority of that rain came in May. Across Minnesota, this spring has exceeded the 1991-2020 average rain. Half the state went above normal precipitation by over 50%. 

At the beginning of March, the majority of Minnesota was in some sort of drought, with a large swath in north central Minnesota being in a severe drought, and the rest of the state being either moderate drought or abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. 

Drought comparison from March-June 2024. Photos courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor. (Supplied)

That drought in March didn't last as a large winter storm hit March 23-27, which brought heavy snow and rain across the state, the DNR reports. This caused March to end with above-average precipitation and was the start of Minnesota getting out of its drought. 

The DNR reports that at least 95% of Minnesota got above-average rainfall in May. 

Extreme drought conditions peaked last September, with dry conditions lingering during the mild winter. But, May was the third-wettest month in the past decade in Minnesota, which has helped get the state out of drought conditions.