National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Rains Alleviate the Abnormally Dry Conditions across Northern Wisconsin

Updated on Thursday, June 21, 2018

Daily Monitoring of Drought Impacts & Outlooks



From June 15th through June 18th, between 3 and 8 inches of rain fell across northern Wisconsin.  Normally only 1 inch of rain falls during this time period.  This has alleviated the abnormally dry (D0) conditions across northern Wisconsin.  This includes Clark and Taylor counties which received between 1.5 and 7 inches of rain.


U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:

In the June 19th release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate (D1) drought was found west-central Minnesota; and southeast and south-central Iowa.

Abnormally dry (D0) were found in southwest and central Iowa and northern Minnesota.

Note: The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 7 a.m. Central Daylight Time.

U.S. Drought Monitor for June 19, 2018 

State Drought Statistics

Iowa Drought Statistics

Minnesota drought statistics

Wisconsin Drought Statistics




Local Area Affected:

The abnormally dry (D0) conditions have ended across Clark and Taylor counties in north-central Wisconsin.
La Crosse WI CWA Latest Drought Information

State/Local Government Actions:

No known actions are taking place at this time.

Climatological Summary:

From June 15th through June 18th, between 3 and 8 inches of rain fell across northern Wisconsin.  Normally only 1 inch of rain falls during this time period.  This has alleviated the abnormally dry (D0) conditions across northern Wisconsin including Clark and Taylor countiesHere is a map of the precipitation deficits during this time period.

Wisconsin rainfall deficits April 1 through June 19, 2018.

The following tables show the precipitation totals and deficits from April 1 through June 19, 2018.

Southwest Wisconsin

Rain Total
(April 1 to
to June 19, 2018)
from Normal
Merrill (Lincoln County) 8.25" -0.38"
Bloomer (Chippewa County) 8.29" -0.65"
Eau Claire 3 SW (Eau Claire County) 8.37" -2.14"
Eau Claire Regional Airport (Eau Clair County) 8.49" -0.34"
Medford (Taylor County) 8.61" -0.22"
Chippewa Falls (Chippewa County) 10.01" +0.33"
Rice Reservoir-Tomahawk (Lincoln County) 10.24" +1.45"
Wausau WSAW  TV (Marathon County) 11.00" +1.77"
Wausau ASOS (Marathon County) 11.22" +2.21"
Marshfield Exp Farm (Wood County) 11.93" +2.54"
Wisconsin Rapids Grand Av B (Wood County) 15.19" +5.89"


The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly collaborative effort between a number of federal agencies including NOAA/NWS, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Details and explanations of the Drought Monitor can found at the web site:

The categories of drought are defined as follows:

Abnormally Dry (D0)
- Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures; fire risk above average. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits; pastures or crops not fully recovered.

Moderate Drought (D1) - Some damage to crops, pastures; fire risk high; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent, voluntary water use restrictions requested.

Severe Drought (D2) - Crop or pasture losses likely; fire risk very high; water shortages common; water restrictions imposed.

Extreme Drought (D3) - Major crop/pasture losses; extreme fire danger; widespread water shortages or restrictions.

Exceptional Drought (D4) - Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; exceptional fire risk; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells, creating water emergencies.

Potential Evapotranspiration Rates:

Disaster & Drought Assistance:

Other Drought Web Sites:

Drought ACIS:

This tool allows you the ability to explore data related to drought from the Regional Climate Centers (RCCs).  You can look at length or periods without rain, temperature data, and more.  Click on the logo below to gain access to this tool.

River and Stream Flow Conditions:

As of June 19, Wisconsin rivers were running well above-normal.  There was even some minor flooding along the Wisconsin and St. Croix rivers. 

Hourly and forecast river stages out to 90 days can be found at:

Additional Current stream and river stages may be viewed at:

An interactive table of sites which are at or near record flows can be found at:

Agricultural Impacts:


According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, there were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 17, 2018.  Planting was largely complete this week, with producers putting in the last few fields of soybeans and corn silage.  Haying and spraying were major field activities early in the week as sunny weather predominated.  The weekend brought hot, humid conditions and spotty thunderstorms to much of the state.  Rainfall totals varied from a trace to over 4 inches, with hail, flooding, and erosion damage reported in some areas.  Heat and moisture boosted crop development, particularly in northern and central Wisconsin where soils have been dry.  However, many reporters noted that rain is still needed in their area.

  • Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 79 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus.

Corn emerged was at 96 percent, 4 days ahead of last year and 8 days ahead of the 5-year the average.  Corn condition was 90 percent good to excellent. 

Ninety-six percent of the states expected soybean acres have been planted, 1 day ahead of last year and 6 days ahead of the average.  Eighty-eight percent of the state’s soybeans have emerged, 4 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the average.  Soybean condition was 87 percent good to excellent.

Potato condition was rated 97 percent good to excellent.

Oats emerged was at 97 percent, 4 days behind last year and 2 days behind the average.  Oats headed was reported at 33 percent, 4 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the average.  Oat condition was 90 percent good to excellent.

Winter wheat was 72 percent headed, 2 days behind last year.  Four percent of winter wheat was coloring.  Winter wheat condition was 83 percent good to excellent, 2 percentage points below last week.

The first cutting of alfalfa was reported as 85 percent complete, 2 days behind last year, but 7 days ahead of the average.  The second cutting of alfalfa was just starting.  All hay condition was reported 86 percent in good to excellent condition, up 3 percentage points from last week.

Pasture condition was rated 84 percent in good to excellent condition, compared to 86 percent in good to excellent condition last week.

The following are selected quotes from Farm Reporters and County Ag Agents:

In Clark, Price, and Taylor counties, the area received some much needed rain on Sunday night, but with reports of as much as 5 inches, some areas are flooded. Prior to the rain, pastures were stagnating and hay yields were down from the dry conditions. Hail damaged some crops on 6/13 on the north end of the county.

In Vernon County, farmers finished up planting corn and soybeans.  Early planted corn is knee high already.  Could still have a few farmers taking hay off and planting short day corn.  Crops look very good, but could use a little more rain.  Lots of spraying completed this week. 

NASS Soil Moisture Conditions
in North-Central Wisconsin
Sub soil or Top Soil
Very Short
Wisconsin as of June 17, 20178 Top Soil North-Central
22 28
Sub Soil North-Central 0 2 48 50


Soil moisture supply measures how much moisture is present in cropland top soil during the week. Soil moisture is reported as a percentage. The categories very short, short, adequate and surplus must add up to 100%.

Very Short - Soil moisture supplies are significantly less than what is required for normal plant development. Growth has been stopped, or nearly so, and plants are showing visible signs of moisture stress. Under these conditions, plants will quickly suffer irreparable damage.

Short - Soil dry.  Seed germination and/or normal crop growth and development would be curtailed.

Adequate - Soil moist.  Seed germination and/or crop growth and development would be normal or unhindered.

Surplus - Soil wet.  Fields may be muddy and will generally be unable to absorb additional moisture.  Young developing crops may be yellowing from excess moisture.

The map below lists the Agricultural Districts in southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and northeast Iowa.

Agricultural Divisions

For additional information on agriculture impacts may be viewed from the:

Fire Danger Hazards:

As of the morning of June 19th, low fire danger was reported across Wisconsin.  

As a reminder, citizens should always check with local officials in their area before undertaking any outside burning.  Citizens are liable for damages and suppression costs of any wildfire they may start.

Description of Fire Danger Ratings

For updated DNR Fire Conditions consult the following Web Sites:

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is a drought index that is specifically related to fire potential. The KDBI is broken into four categories which indicate the susceptibility of ground fuels to fire danger. Below are the four categories and a brief description of each.

Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KDBI)
KBDI Value
Description of Fire Potential
0 to 200
Low - Wet with little danger of fire initiation
201 to 400
Moderate - Drying occurring with some fire danger
401 to 600
High - Ground cover dry and will burn readily
601 to 800
Extreme - Dead and live fuels will burn readily

KBDI and Dead Fuel Moisture data can be found through the:

Burn Bans:

Precipitation/Temperature Outlooks:

From June 21 through June 26, temperatures will average near-normal and precipitation will average near- to below-normal.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 67 to 72 degrees and the normal precipitation is around 9 tenths of an inch. 

Beyond this time frame, the 8 to 14-day forecast (June 27-July 3) from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for an enhanced chance of above-normal temperatures and near-normal precipitation.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 68 to 73 degrees and the normal precipitation is around an inch. 

The CPC seasonal outlook for July-September has equal chances of above-, near-, and below-normal temperatures and precipitation for the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

Below are the seasonal outlooks for the next year.

Seasonal Temperature Outlooks

Precipitation Outlooks



For updated temperature and precipitation probabilities consult the following Climate Prediction Center (CPC) Web Sites:

NCEP's CFSv2 (Coupled Forecast System Model Version 2):

Questions or Comments:

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information please contact the NWS La Crosse at:

Telephone: 608-784-8275

The Climate focal point at the NWS La Crosse is Jeff Boyne.

Other Contacts:

Local Agricultural Impacts:

State climate impacts: