Skip to main content

Recent rain helps improve drought conditions in central, southern MN

Portions of northern Minnesota are still in an exceptional drought.

Recent rain in Minnesota has helped improve drought conditions for much of the state, though severe drought still persists. 

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows conditions in central and southern Minnesota have improved thanks to a string of rainy days last week.

Meanwhile, the worst of the drought continues in northern Minnesota — where wildfires continue to rage — albeit there have been some improvements in the northwest part of the state. 

Weather is sponsored by All Energy Solar: get a free installation quote now!

According to U.S. Drought Monitor:

  • 6.78% of the state is in exceptional drought (maroon on the map), down from 8.07% last week — this was the first year an exceptional drought has been recorded in Minnesota since tracking began in 1999.
  • 30.95% is in extreme drought (red on the map), down from 49.58%
  • 27.4% is in severe drought (orange on the map), down from 29.98%
  • 23.45 is in moderate drought (tan on the map), up from 8.95% last week
  • 8.04% is abnormally dry (yellow on the map), up from 2.27%
  • 3.38% of the state has no drought (white on the map), up from 1.15%

Here is this week's map (left) and last week's map (right) to compare how things have improved: 

The map on the left shows the drought in Minnesota as of Aug. 31. The map on the right shows the drought in Minnesota as of Aug. 24.

The map on the left shows the drought in Minnesota as of Aug. 31. The map on the right shows the drought in Minnesota as of Aug. 24.

The persistent drought conditions in 2021 (the year started out dry, and then after a wet March and April, things dried out for the summer) coincided with many areas of Minnesota experiencing their hottest summer on record based on average temperature. The Twin Cities, Duluth and Brainerd are among the areas to have their hottest-ever summer. 

Related [Aug. 11]: Here's what the drought means for fall colors in Minnesota this year

Related [Aug. 25]: With leaves already changing, DNR launches Fall Color Finder early

To close out summer (meteorological summer ended on Aug. 31), much of Minnesota saw much-needed rainfall, with many areas outside of northeastern Minnesota picking up at least 2 inches, while a large part of central and southern Minnesota picked up 3-6 inches of rain, according to the Minnesota DNR

In some areas of northern and northwestern Minnesota, which have been hit especially hard by dry conditions this year, the two-week wet period in late August helped increased annual precipitation totals by over 50%, while most areas saw a 15-30% boost in annual precipitation totals, the DNR said. 

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport picked up 6.89 inches of rain in the month of August, which is more rain than MSP saw the previous three months combined (from May-July, MSP had 6.18 inches of rain), the National Weather Service (NWS) said

And there's good news for parts of Minnesota to end the week: rain is in the forecast Thursday night, with heavy rain possible in western Minnesota, NWS says. However, after this bout of wet weather, things will be dry for several days. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 9.56.21 AM

North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.


One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.30.08 AM

Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.


Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

Screen Shot 2022-05-22 at 8.14.37 AM

Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

Screen Shot 2022-05-21 at 5.46.37 PM

Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.


Pixabay - rain lake puddle grass

How much rain does Minnesota need to end the drought?

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

MN River backwaters 2019 (left) and 2021 (right)

10 photos that show how bad the drought is in Minnesota

Waterfalls are running dry and crops are brown.

Drought conditions arrive in central, northern Minnesota

Some areas are a couple of inches of rain below normal.


For first time, part of Minnesota is now in 'exceptional' drought conditions

More than 40% of the state is experiencing extreme drought.


Rain, storms on tap for much of Minnesota this weekend

Southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, could see severe weather Saturday.

Screen Shot 2021-07-15 at 9.49.04 AM

Drought update: Bad news for Minnesota as new heat wave looms

Will next week get as hot as the American model suggests it could? It's possible, though unlikely.