The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is providing email updates about the current drought and details about drought-related actions and responses.
Anyone can sign up to receive the weekly drought update, released each Monday, that includes information about current drought status, fire danger and state burning restrictions, and sample stream flows and lake levels.
Subscribers also will receive State Drought Task Force meeting summaries and agendas. The DNR convened the task force in July, when Minnesota entered the Drought Warning Phase. The State Drought Task Force comprises 21 state, federal, tribal, regional and local agencies and organizations with water-related responsibilities.
DNR’s web resources about drought include current information on water conservation efforts, lake level and river flow data, drought and streamflow maps, and a new table providing information about temporary water appropriation suspensions by watershed.
Drought is categorized by a set of drought intensity classifications.
The national drought monitor is updated each Thursday to show the locations and intensity of drought:
- D0 – Abnormally dry (not drought). Soil moisture is low, fire danger increases. All of Minnesota is at least abnormally dry.
- D1 – Moderate drought. River and lake levels lower than normal. Ninety-nine percent of Minnesota is experiencing at least moderate drought, down from 100% the previous week.
- D2 – Severe drought. Ground is hard, fire danger is high, river flows are low, well levels decrease. Seventy-eight percent of Minnesota is experiencing at least severe drought, up from 75 percent the previous week.
- D3 – Extreme drought. Emergency haying and grazing authorizations begin, wildfires are widespread, surface waters are near record lows. Thirty-five percent of Minnesota is experiencing extreme drought, up from 22 percent the previous week.
- D4 – Exceptional drought. Impacts of exceptional drought are very damaging. Minnesota has not experienced exceptional drought over the past 20 years. The drought of the 1930’s would have been classified as an exceptional drought.
Under current conditions, it would take at least five to eight inches of precipitation spread over the next month to significantly alleviate drought.