Rain coming to Minnesota, but will it be enough to relieve drought?


There's a price to pay for all this nice fall weather we've been enjoying in Minnesota: drought.

Luckily, rain will fall on much of the state Friday, bringing at least a little relief to those areas described as "abnormally dry" by

" target="_blank">the National Weather Service (NWS) on Thursday: central and southeast Minnesota.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Drought Monitor map shows a good chunk of northwestern Minnesota is also in rough shape, with dryness in the region classified as either "moderate" or "abnormal."

While the rain coming at the end of the week isn't exactly projected to be a torrential downpour, FOX 9 says parts of northern Minnesota could get "close to an inch."

As for the Twin Cities, MPR's Paul Huttner says the metro should get a quarter- to a half-inch. Not much, but it will have to do, as the region's next rains may not come until about the middle of next week, Huttner indicates.

It's about time. According to a tweet from the NWS's Twin Cities arm, some parts of southern Minnesota – like Redwood Falls, Blue Earth and Albert Lea – haven't seen a drop of rain all month:

The Twin Cities have been alarmingly thirsty as well; according to the Pioneer Press, only 0.33 inches fell on Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in October, which is "1.47 inches below the 30-year average."

This comes at a time when 40 percent of the state is suffering from abnormal drought, according to the U.S.Drought Monitor. That's the second most severe rating on the agency's scale.

Just last week, the NWS had to issue a red flag warning for "high fire danger" in portions of southern Minnesota due to high winds and low humidity.

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Nearly the entire state was in a moderate to severe drought, but three months later that's down to about 10 percent. A climatologist told the Associated Press rain has recharged dry soils, but above-average precipitation needs to continue for Minnesota to fully catch up.

Rain coming, but drought not leaving

Temperatures will drop throughout the day Thursday, and Friday will be sunny and cooler – the Twin Cities will wake up to about 28 degrees. Then rain is likely throughout Saturday, local forecasters say. The parched metro could get the most significant rainfall it has had in two to three months, but that's not saying much – less than an inch is likely.