Dry conditions expected to continue across Northland
Some counties are already considered to be in a "drought.
Some of you may have noticed that the yards around the area are beginning to appear somewhat dry, especially if you live on the Wisconsin side of the metro.
So far this summer, precipitation across the Northland has generally been around average; however, northern Wisconsin has seen somewhat below-average precipitation.
Superior only registered 2.33 inches of rain, which is 2.23 inches below average, for June. Duluth fared much better with 4.08 inches of rain, which is 0.31 inches below average. However, both locations saw above average temperatures during the month of June.
For northern Wisconsin, the deficit of rain so far this summer, combined with the somewhat warmer temperatures, has resulted in a short-term drought developing across portions of northern Wisconsin.
A short-term drought is a drought which lasts less than six months. And even though the word "drought" may seem worrisome, precipitation can still occur within a drought. Normally, though, the precipitation occurring within a drought is not always enough to overcome the deficit. Short-term droughts can put a strain on crops and turn yards brown.
As of now, the short-term drought is mainly focused across Barron, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Polk counties in Wisconsin, as well as the extreme southern portion of Wisconsin. However, it is possible this short-term drought may expand across all Wisconsin and possibly into portions of Minnesota, including the Duluth area.
While precipitation is still possible in our region over the forecast period, the overall pattern features above-average temperatures with dry conditions across the region over at least the next two weeks, with some indications that this overall trend may continue into August.
The Climate Prediction Center expects that while below-average precipitation is likely through August, near-normal precipitation may return into the region toward the beginning of fall.
Until a few months ago, the region as a whole, along with much of the Upper Midwest and Plains, was under a larger drought which persisted since spring 2021. This drought was brought to an end by the snow over the winter and the above average wet spring of a few months ago. For now, the current drought in our region is not expected to be as dry.