With little to no rain over the last week, drought tightens its grip

Drought monitor as of August 19. 2021. 

The summer of 2021 will go down as one of the driest on record across the state and it continues to take its toll. Crop yields are down, the grass is crunchy, and rivers and streams are down to their lowest levels in more than 30 years. And with almost no rainfall statewide over the last week, the newest drought monitor shows conditions continue to deteriorate.

DROUGHT IN MINNESOTA: Your questions answered

The highest drought categories in red and maroon continue to expand, up 7% in total area from last week, and now cover roughly half the state. The severe drought category now encompasses the entire greater Twin Cities metro with more than 85% of the state now in this severe category or worse. While there is a little rain in the forecast, whatever falls will only be short temporary relief, essentially putting a band aid on a broken leg as the saying goes.

At this point, most areas need more than 10 inches of rain now to recover. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has moved the statewide drought plan into the restrictive phase, which requires public water suppliers to implement water use restrictions with a goal of reducing water use to 25% above January levels. 

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