More than half of Minnesota is experiencing severe drought, with the hot, dry conditions pushing the state into a warning phase not seen since 2012.
So what will it take to turn things around and get Minnesota out of this deepening drought? The Minnesota DNR provided an estimate recently.
The agency said we will need 3-5 inches of rain to fall over a period of about two weeks to "significantly" reduce drought levels. One enormous rainfall won't do it, since soils are better replenished by repeated rains, rather than a one-shot.
That is about in line with estimates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), which says the northern one-third of the state requires more than 7 inches of rainfall to ameliorate (that is, reduce the severity of) drought conditions in a month. The middle one-third could use about 5 inches. of precipitation.
To actually end the drought in the next month based on NOAA's measurements, the state needs anywhere from 8-10 inches in most areas. And that doesn't account for bringing other systems back to normal, such as refilling reservoirs, groundwater levels or ecosystem impacts.
Based on historical rain records, the NOAA puts the odds of that happening anywhere from 0.01%-2.01%.