This winter has buffeted Minnesotans with snow, freezing temperatures, gusting winds and other seasonal challenges. But there’s one more challenge ahead that doesn’t exactly scream winter: drought.
Swathes of central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, are seeing persistent or intensifying drought, according to the seasonal drought outlook that the National Weather Service released Thursday.
The forecast, which runs through April 30, isn’t certain because of weak signals among the tools used to monitor precipitation, but persistence in the drought is most likely.
“Persistence is forecast across northwest Iowa, southern Minnesota, and Wisconsin, while prospects for improvement increase across southeast Iowa, northern Missouri, and Illinois,” according to the National Weather Service.
As of last week, half of Minnesota was experiencing some type of precipitation shortage, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center’s United States Drought Monitor. About 23 percent of the state is in a state of moderate drought, with the remaining water-short areas classified as “abnormally dry.”