A cool pool

Summer heat, summer drought

A summer heat wave and a continuing lack of rain in the area are putting stress on residents of the Upper Midwest.

  • Has cold feetArea braces for a scorcher
    The Upper Midwest will roast this weekend with temperatures that could push 100 degrees, and health officials are urging people to take the heat seriously.July 14, 2006
  • BlowdownHot weather fuels BWCA fire
    Gov. Tim Pawlenty travels to northeastern Minnesota Sunday to check on a fire that's burning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.July 16, 2006
  • Water scooperFires continue burning in BWCA
    A fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, the largest in years, continues to spread. It now threatens to force some property owners off their land.July 17, 2006
  • Beating the heatWe're having a heat wave
    Minnesota is hot and getting hotter. Temperatures in the Twin Cities are expected to stay in the 90s for at least the next five days. The current dry spell is also predicted to continue through the weekend. What should Minnesotans do to weather the heat wave?Midday, July 12, 2006
  • Cows graze in dead pastureSouth Dakota fields look like winter in July
    Farmers and ranchers from central and western part of state are angry about the fifth year in a row without a crop due to drought. They're selling off livestock because there's no grass to graze. Gov. Mike Rounds asked for disaster declaration for 20 counties and the federal government said farmers could cut hay and graze cattle on land set aside for conservation programs.July 14, 2006
  • DroughtDrought called 'catastrophic' for region's farmers
    Farmers and ranchers in the Dakotas and western Minnesota are facing their fourth and fifth year of abnormally dry weather. U.S. Sen. Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota calls the recent dry spell in the region "catastrophic."July 10, 2006
  • cornRain needed across much of the region
    Drought has settled in across parts of the Dakotas, and dry conditions threaten Minnesota crops.July 5, 2006
  • Low Mississippi RiverLow levels in Minnesota rivers affecting water quality
    Many Minnesota rivers and streams are approaching dangerously low levels because of the recent hot and dry weather. Some experts are worried those conditions are already affecting water quality.July 17, 2006
  • Another hot day beginsDry conditions hit some crops hard
    Minnesota crops suffered more damage last week as hot, mostly dry conditions dominated the weather. The weekly crop report says corn has been especially hard hit.July 18, 2006
  • Fire by nightBWCA fire: Watching the winds, hoping for rain
    Strong winds fanned flames and threatened the homes and businesses along northeast Minnesota's Gunflint Trail Wednesday, as a large forest fire continued to grow near Seagull Lake. The Cavity Lake fire has burned more than 20,000 acres. While parts of the state saw much-needed rain Wednesday, the Boundary Waters got little.July 19, 2006
  • A view of the fireA closeup view of the BWCA fire
    The forest fire sweeping through parts of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is cause for concern to visitors and residents of the area. Several people who live near the Gunflint Trail captured the fire in some dramatic photos from the south shore of Seagull Lake.July 19, 2006
  • Heavy rainfall in RochesterQuick storm wets roads and fields but crops need more rain
    Fast-moving thunderstorms rolled across the region dropping rain in some areas and teasing others with just a few drops. Dry farm fields and rivers and streams still need more rain.July 19, 2006
  • Worried residents near the Cavity Lake fireBWCA firefighters dig in for long haul
    On the edge of the Boundary Waters, firefighters breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as the Cavity Lake Fire grew only slightly. But they're digging in for a long stay.July 21, 2006
  • Firefighters wait to be moved to fireUpbeat but vigilant at Cavity Lake
    Officials leading the fight against the Cavity Lake fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness offered residents some good news Friday, and some words of caution.July 21, 2006
  • A fire fighting airplaneLiving near fire zones
    The fires in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area worry some who live on the Gunflint Trail. Midmorning looks at how fires are fought, how forests are managed and whether people should reconsider living near areas prone to burning.Midmorning, July 21, 2006
  • Wheat fieldPoor spring wheat harvest may mean higher bread and cereal prices
    The harvest of winter wheat is just finishing up and combines will move over to the spring wheat harvest this week or early next. Farmers expect $5 per bushel this year. That's up $1.50 over last year. Consumers are seeing an increase in the grocery store but the reason for that might surprise you.July 23, 2006
  • Canoeing to the fireFirefighters make progress on BWCA fire
    Firefighters continued to make good progress on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wildfire, as they were helped by continued moderate weather.July 24, 2006
  • Eagle on Seagull LakeAfter the fire
    From a distance, much of the land affected by the Cavity Lake wildfire looks like it's burned to a crisp. But even in the blackened areas, life is not only surviving, but thriving.July 26, 2006
  • Blackhawk helicopterFighting fire with a drop of the bucket
    Mike Rynerson has spent the past 12 days dropping water on the Cavity Lake fire. He uses a UH 60 Black Hawk helicopter to scoop water from nearby lakes and drop it on the fire.July 26, 2006
  • A pair of cows on the auction blockDrought forces ranchers to make tough decision
    Drought conditions in northwest Minnesota and the Red River Valley are hurting farmers and ranchers. The dry weather isn't just damaging crops and reducing yields, it also has some ranchers selling off cattle.July 25, 2006
  • U.S. drought monitorParts of Minnesota are in an "extreme" drought
    The National Drought Mitigation Center says much of the northern half of Minnesota is now in an "extreme" drought. That's worse than last week's designation of a "severe" drought. Conditions aren't likely to improve anytime soon.July 27, 2006
  • Tree farm in Bluemont, VirginiaChristmas in July
    The recent heat and lack of rain is taking a toll on Minnesota's Christmas tree farms.July 28, 2006
  • Hot dog cools offCoping with highs around 100
    High temperatures and drought continue across the region, putting a strain on the farmers, the power grid and the people of the Midwest.Midday, July 31, 2006
  • Pool jumpThe hottest day yet
    The state climatology office called Monday's heat the capper to the most sweltering July since the Dust Bowl era, with temperatures hovering around 100 degrees.July 31, 2006

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