What is the state's path out of these damaging conditions?
The Minnesota DNR, in its latest drought update, said the state will need at least 5-9 inches of rain to "significantly alleviate" the drought. But the rain can't fall in a single burst. It needs to be spread out over approximately one month to more efficiently replenish the soil.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides a more detailed prescription. The northern third of the state, currently dealing with some of the worst conditions, is in need of 9.19-9.85 inches of rain over the course of a month to ameliorate the drought — but needs a foot or more of precipitation to bring it to an end.
The odds of that happening in that timeframe, the NOAA says, are less than 1%. Some areas would need more than three times their historical normal levels of rain.
The middle third of the state meanwhile requires about 6-7 inches to reduce drought conditions, while the southwest and south-central regions are in need of 5-6 inches.
Since entering the drought warning phase a month ago, dry conditions have only worsened.
According to the latest analysis, 36% of Minnesota is experiencing severe drought, 35% is in extreme drought and 7% is facing an exceptional level of drought