Climatologist: Snow won't help farmers muchby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Parts of Minnesota have as much as five inches of moisture in the current snowpack, but that doesn't mean the drought is over.
State climatologist Greg Spoden says recent heavy snows have boosted moisture content so significantly that sections of the Red and Minnesota rivers may see some flooding this spring. But he said the melting snow probably won't help farmers all that much.
"I would expect that perhaps only 20 percent of the water in the snowpack will actually enter into the soil," said Spoden.
The frozen ground will prevent most of the meltwater from soaking in, and send it instead to streams and lakes. Spoden said spring and summer rains are what farmers really need to alleviate drought conditions.
"In terms of agriculture, horticulture, forestry; This winter snowfall is not going to add a lot to the soil moisture profile," Spoden said.