National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Still Abnormally Dry
in Eastern Taylor County

Updated on Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Next Scheduled Update on Thursday, November 30, 2017

Daily Monitoring of Drought Impacts & Outlooks


From November 14th through November 21st, anywhere from a tenth to a half inch of precipitation fell across north-central Wisconsin.  In our area, the highest precipitation total was 0.22 inches in Medford.  Since the normal precipitation for this time period was around a half inch, there was a slight increase in the precipitation deficits (around 3 inches) which have developed since August 1st. 

At this time the only place in the La Crosse Hydrologic Service Area to remain abnormally dry (D0) is eastern Taylor County in north-central Wisconsin.

U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:

In the November 21st release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate (D1drought was found in parts of north-central Minnesota, south-central and southeast Iowa, and southwest Illinois.

Abnormally dry (D0conditions were found in parts of north-central Wisconsin and central Illinois.

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

U.S. Drought Monitor for November 21, 2017 

State Drought Statistics

Iowa Drought Statistics

Minnesota drought statistics

Wisconsin Drought Statistics




Local Area Affected:

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions remain across eastern Taylor County in north-central and central Wisconsin.

County map of drought conditions across northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and western Wisconsin as of November 21, 2017.

State/Local Government Actions:

No known actions are taking place at this time.

Climatological Summary:

From August 1st through November 21st, precipitation deficits are around 3 inches across parts of north-central Wisconsin.  Due to this, abnormally dry (D0) conditions remain across eastern Taylor County.  Here is a map of the precipitation deficits from August 1 through November 21, 2017.

Wisconsin rainfall deficits August 1 through November 21, 2017.

The following tables show the rain totals and deficits from August 1 through November 21, 2017.

North-Central Wisconsin

Rain Total
(Aug 1-Nov 21)
from Normal
Merrill (Lincoln County) 9.14" -3.60"
Eau Pleine Rsvr (Marathon County) 9.63" -2.93"
Medford (Taylor County) 10.02" -3.55"
Wausau ASOS (Marathon County) 10.36" -2.10"
Wausau WSAW TV (Marathon County) 10.38" -2.54"
Rice Rsvr Tomahawk 2 (Lincoln County) 11.07" -1.33"


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 November 21st, the Black River in central and west-central Wisconsin was running near normal. 

Listed below are some current (November 21st) river and stream flows versus in cubic feet per second (cfs) compared to percentiles of historical daily stream flow for the day of the year.  These are for selected rivers and streams in our service area with long periods (over 30 years) of record as measured by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS River Flow Values as of November 21, 2017
Percentile of historical daily stream flow for the date listed above
Black Black River Falls, WI
Neillsville, WI*
* These sites have current stage and even forecast out to 90 days can be viewed at the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) Web Page.

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 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending November 19, 2017.  Temperatures were close to normal this week, with light rains and heavy fog on several days.  The corn for grain harvest progressed slowly statewide as grain moistures were still unfavorably high.  Several reporters noted that grain moistures have actually risen with the damp conditions of the past few weeks.  Fields were reportedly slippery in some areas, further complicating harvest activities.  Dry, sunny days and frozen soils are needed to help bring in the last of the corn and soybeans.

  • Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 86 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 87 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.
NASS Soil Moisture Conditions
in North-Central Wisconsin
Sub soil or Top Soil
Very Short
Wisconsin as of November 19, 2017 Top Soil North-Central
10 90
Sub Soil North-Central 0 10 90 0

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 November 21st, there was low fire danger across north-central 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 November 22nd through November 28th, temperatures will average warmer-than-normal and precipitation will average below-normal.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 26 to 31 degrees and the normal precipitation is around a half inch. 

Beyond this time frame the 8 to 14 day forecast (November 29th through December 5th) from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for above-normal temperatures and precipitation.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 22 to 27 degrees and the normal precipitation is around a 4 tenths of an inch. 

The CPC seasonal outlook for January through March 2018 has enhanced chances of colder- and wetter-than-normal 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: