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How much rain does Minnesota need to end the severe drought conditions?

More than half of the state is experiencing severe drought right now.

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.

Related: Minneapolis residents face water restrictions if severe drought continues

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.

Estimated amount of precipitation needed to ameliorate the severity of drought conditions.

Estimated amount of precipitation needed to ameliorate the severity of drought conditions.

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%.

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