Widespread beneficial rain arrives for Wednesday, Thursday

The Twin Cities metro is now more than 6 inches of rain behind average to this point in the season with our moderate to even severe drought hanging around for at least parts of the state. 

But now that trees are losing their leaves and many plants are going dormant for the winter, do we really need any rain?

YES, we absolutely do. While plants could certainly use the moisture, they don't really need it anymore. Plants wind down in the fall and rarely grow past September, when the cooler temperatures arrive in abundance. So now is the perfect time to begin replacing soil moisture. 

With the ground as dry as it is, any rain that falls will quickly get soaked up by our active vegetation. While that's great, it doesn't allow for any additional moisture to get soaked and stored into the ground and can leave it quite parched heading into winter when the soil finally freezes. This lack of moisture then becomes an issue in a far more critical time of year for our plants, when the ground thaws in the spring and the plants begin blooming.

But if some moisture can get replaced before the ground freezes, then we're a step ahead in the spring on the off chance that our dry conditions continue into next year. That will help plants start off with a bang when they begin blooming in May. 

soil moisture

Current soil moisture across the United States.  (FOX 9)

Our current soil moisture is certainly low. Much of eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin are ranging from the fifth to 30th percentile for the top 3 feet or so of soil. Western Minnesota is certainly faring better, but could use a little moisture as well, to keep the topsoil from drying out.

Here's how much rain is possible starting late Tuesday night and going through Thursday afternoon.

rainfall totals

Possible rainfall totals from late Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon. 

Not too shabby of a fall storm, especially since it will be a long duration event which means much of this water should end up in the ground and not become runoff.

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