Minn. gets drier, but not as bad as rest of Midwestby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Drought conditions have spread to more of Minnesota over the past week as little rain fell on the state.
The latest drought monitor map shows that more than half of Minnesota is abnormally dry, up five percentage points from last week. That's still much better than the Midwest as a whole and conditions in Minnesota last January, when virtually the entire state was dry.
Mark Svoboda with the National Drought Mitigation Center in Nebraska said some states are in a relatively uncommon second year of drought.
"We saw that in the 50s, we saw it in the mid-70s, we saw it in the 30s of course with the dust bowl years," said Svoboda. "They don't come around all that often but you're seeing that already now in the southeast and in the southern states of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Alabama, Georgia."
Svoboda said Minnesota is on the northern edge of a dry pocket that covers most of the nation's midsection.
"We just can't seem to break that pattern," said Svoboda. "Maybe we'll have to wait until winter before we see that happen, if it does happen then."
The northwest and southwest corners of Minnesota are the driest parts of the state. Svoboda said a likely switch to an El Nino weather pattern offers some hope of a wet winter in parts of the nation's drought area.