National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Very Warm, Humid Weekend - Strong, Severe Storm Risk

Warm and humid weekend for the region, lingering into the start of the new work week. Sunday afternoon shaping up to be the hottest period with heat indices from 95 to 100 degrees. Periodic storm chances Saturday into Monday. Any storm that develops could quickly become strong to severe. Outdoor plans this weekend? Plan now for heat and possible storm impacts. Read More >

The 2023-24 Drought Comes to an End

Updated on Thursday, May 30, 2024
Next Scheduled Update:  Thursday, June 6, 2024

Summary:

From May 22 through May 28, rainfall totals ranged from 0.68" at the Winona Municipal Max Conrad Field Airport to 6" near Necedah. Normally, around 1" of precipitation falls during this period. The heaviest rain (2 to 6") fell in the abnormally dry (D0) and drought areas. This rain and above-normal precipitation in April and May 2024 ended the 2023-24 drought. This drought began in late May 2023 and reached its greatest intensity in mid-September. Extreme (D3) and exceptional drought (D4) covered 66.3% of the La Crosse Hydrologic Service Area (HSA) in mid-September. Before this drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor (which began in 1999) never had our area in exceptional drought (D4)

% of the Area Impacted by Various Drought Categories


Due to the large precipitation deficits from 6 to 12 months ago, abnormally dry (D0) conditions continue across northeast Iowa, and parts of southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin. This is impacting groundwater levels.

Modernized Drought Information Statement (DGT) can be found here.

Note:  The impacts of any precipitation that fell after 7 AM Tuesday, May 28 will be evaluated next week.

U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:

In the May 28 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, abnormally dry (D0) to moderate (D1) drought continued in north-central Minnesota, north-central Wisconsin, and western Upper Michigan. Due to the large precipitation deficits from 6 to 12 months ago, abnormally dry (D0) conditions continued across eastern Iowa, and parts of southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin.

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

U.S. Drought Monitor for May 28, 2024 

State Drought Statistics

Iowa Drought Statistics

Minnesota drought statistics

Wisconsin Drought Statistics

Iowa

Minnesota

Wisconsin


Local Area Affected:

Abnormally Dry (D0) in all or parts of:

  • Northeast Iowa: Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek.
  • Southeast Minnesota: Fillmore and Mower counties.
  • Western Wisconsin: Adams, Grant, Juneau, Richland, and Vernon counties.

​La Crosse WI CWA Latest Drought Information
State/Local Government Actions:

​No known actions are taking place in northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and western Wisconsin.

Climatological Summary:

Precipitation Departures from
January 1, 2024 through May 28, 2024:

  • The largest precipitation surpluses (3 to 7") were found across the long-term drought areas along and south of Interstate 90.
     
  • La Crosse, WI has had its 12th wettest May and 12th wettest meteorological spring.
     
  • This precipitation saturated the top and sub-soils and alleviated the drought in these areas.
Precipitation Departures from January 1, 2024 through May 28, 2024.

Precipitation Departures from
April 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023:

  • The largest deficits (9" to 18") were located south of Interstate 90. 

  • Due to the large precipitation deficits from 6 to 12 months ago, abnormally dry (D0) conditions continue across northeast Iowa, and parts of southeast Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin. This is impacting groundwater levels.

Precipitation Departures from April 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023.

 

 

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

U.S. Drought Monitor

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 and 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 Plans:

 

 

River and Stream Flow Conditions:

As of the morning of May 28, rivers and stream flows range from normal to much above normal in northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and from central to western Wisconsin.

NOTE: This is time-sensitive and conditions could change.  Updated river and streamflow conditions can be found via links to the right.

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 that are at or near record flows can be found at:

 

Agricultural Impacts:

Here are the latest Agricultural Statistics Service reports for Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin issued on May 28, 2024.

Iowa

Severe weather including heavy rains, tornadoes, and derecho conditions limited Iowa farmers to 2.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.

Planting corn and soybeans, and cutting hay was limited.

  • Topsoil moisture condition rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture condition rated 2 percent very short, 9 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 17 percent surplus.

Corn planted reached 88 percent. Sixty-six percent of the corn crop has emerged. The first corn condition rating of the season was 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 54 good and 19 percent excellent. Seventy-three percent of Iowa’s expected soybean crop has been planted, 10 days behind last year and 3 days behind the normal. Soybeans emerged reached 42 percent, 5 days behind last year. Ninety-five percent of the expected oat crop has emerged. Oats headed reached 31 percent, 6 days ahead of last year and almost 2 weeks ahead of the average. Oat condition improved 5 percentage points to 81 percent good to excellent.

Alfalfa hay reached 20 percent complete. Hay condition rated 78 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 72 percent good to excellent. Reports of flooded fields were received throughout the State. 

Minnesota

Minnesota experienced rain over the majority of last week resulting in 2.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Fieldwork included planting when feasible. Livestock were doing well with no issues reported.

  • Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 31 percent surplus. 
  • Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 69 percent adequate, and 22 percent surplus.

Corn planted was at 89 percent, equal to last year but 3 days ahead of the 5-year average. Corn emerged was at 58 percent. Corn condition was rated 75 percent good to excellent. Soybeans planted reached 72 percent, 1 day behind last year but 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. Thirty-one percent of the soybean crop had emerged.

Barley planted was at 90 percent with the crop 73 percent emerged and 20 percent jointing. Condition of the barley crop rated 85 percent good to excellent.

Oats planted was at 95 percent, with 80 percent emerged and 30 percent jointing. Oats condition rated 82 percent good to excellent.

Spring wheat planted was 96 percent with 82 percent emerged and 30 percent jointing. Spring wheat condition rated 82 percent good to excellent.

Dry edible beans planted were at 39 percent with 7 percent emerged. The first cutting of alfalfa hay reached 5 percent. Potatoes planted were at 89 percent. Sunflowers planted reached 50 percent.

All hay condition was rated 62 percent good to excellent and pasture condition was rated 63 percent good to excellent. Sugarbeet condition was rated 97 percent good to excellent. 

Wisconsin

Heavy rains reduced Wisconsin to just 2.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week. The warmer weather was beneficial to crop development and hay growth. When able, the week’s field activities included, tillage, planting crops, and cutting hay.

  • Topsoil moisture condition rated 0 percent very short, 4 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 35 percent surplus. 
  • Subsoil moisture condition rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus.

Corn planting was 78 percent complete, 2 days behind last year but 1 day ahead of the 5-year average. Corn emergence was 48 percent complete.

Soybean planting was 74 percent complete, equal to last year but 4 days ahead of average. Soybean emergence was 44 percent complete.

Oat planting progress was 89 percent complete, equal to last year but 2 days ahead of average. Oat emergence was 67 percent complete.

Winter wheat was 23 percent headed, 5 days ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of average.

Potato planting is 94 percent complete, 6 days ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of average.

Spring tillage was 88 percent complete, 1 day behind last year but 1 day ahead of average.

The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 18 percent complete, 2 days behind last year but 3 days ahead of average.

Oat condition improved to 81 percent good to excellent statewide, up 10 percent from last week. Winter wheat condition remained at 86 percent good to excellent. Potato condition remained at 87 percent good to excellent. All hay condition improved to 80 percent good to excellent, up 5 percent. Pasture and range condition improved to 67 percent good to excellent, up 8 percent.

 

NASS Soil Moisture Conditions in Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, & Western Wisconsin
as of May 28, 2024
State
Region
Soil
Percent of Moisture
Very Short
Short
Adequate
Surplus
Iowa  North-Central Top Soil 0 1 72 27
Sub Soil 0 3 80 17
Northeast Top Soil 1 2 66 31
Sub Soil 2 6 75 17
Minnesota  State Top Soil 0 5 64 31
Sub Soil 1 8 69 22
Wisconsin  Southwest Top Soil 0 0 62 38
Sub Soil 0 2 72 26
West-Central Top Soil 0 0 79 21
Sub Soil 0 0 83 17
Central Top Soil 0 19 48 33
Sub Soil 0 19 48 33
North-Central Top Soil 0 14 51 35
Sub Soil 0 16 81 3

Soil moisture supply measures how much moisture is present in cropland topsoil 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

Additional information on agriculture impacts may be viewed from the:

Fire Danger Hazards:

As of the morning of May 28, fire danger was low (fires are not easily started) fire danger in northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and from southwest into central Wisconsin. 

NOTE: This is time-sensitive and conditions could change from day to day. Fire conditions can change drastically on drier, windy days. Updated DNR fire conditions can be found via links to the right.

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 is 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 May 30 through June 4, temperatures and precipitation will be near- to above-normal. During this time frame, daily average temperatures range from 62 to 67°F, and precipitation averages around 1". 

From June 5 through June 11 (8-14 day outlook), the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting enhanced chances of above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation. The normal daily average temperatures for this period range from 64 to 69°F and the normal precipitation is around 1.25".

From July through September 2024, the Climate Prediction Center has enhanced chances for above-normal temperatures and equal chances of above-, near-, and below-normal rainfall for the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Seasonal temperatures gradually cool. They range from the upper 60s to mid-70s in July and from the mid-50s to mid-60s in September. Seasonal precipitation ranges from 11.5 to 12.5" along and north of Interstate 94, and from 12 to 13.5" across the remainder of the area.

Below are the seasonal outlooks for the next year.

Seasonal Temperature Outlooks

Precipitation Outlooks

Temperatures

Precipitation

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

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

County Analysis Precipitation Tool

Questions or Comments:

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

E-mail: nws.lacrosse@noaa.gov
Telephone: 608-784-8275

The climate and drought focal point at the NWS La Crosse is Jeff Boyne.

Other Contacts:

Local Agricultural Impacts:

State climate impacts: