National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Dryness Continues across Much of the Area

Updated on Thursday, February 25, 2021
Next Scheduled Update:  Thursday, March 18, 2021

 

Summary:

Since October 1, 1 to 4-inch precipitation deficits have developed across southeast Minnesota; west-central and north-central Wisconsin; and most of northeast Iowa.  The largest departures are in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota.  Due to these precipitation deficits, abnormally dry (D0) conditions continue across the aforementioned areas.


U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:

In the February 25, release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, abnormally dry (D0) to extreme (D3) drought was seen across western Iowa. 

Abnormally dry (D0) to severe (D2) drought was seen across southwest Minnesota.

Abnormally dry (D0) to moderate (D1) drought was seen across west-central, northwest, and northeast Minnesota; central Illinois; and northeast Indiana.

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions were seen across the remainder of Minnesota; western and northern Wisconsin; and parts of northeast Iowa.

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

U.S. Drought Monitor for February 25, 2021 

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, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, and Winneshiek counties.
     
  • Southeast Minnesota:  Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, and Winona counties.
     
  • Western Wisconsin:  Buffalo, Clark, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Taylor, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties.
La Crosse WI CWA Latest Drought Information


State/Local Government Actions:

No known actions are taking place at this time.

Climatological Summary:

Since October 1, 1 to 4-inch precipitation deficits have developed across southeast Minnesota; west-central and north-central Wisconsin; and most of northeast Iowa.  The largest departures are in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota.  Due to these precipitation deficits, abnormally dry (D0) conditions continue.

Here is a map of the precipitation deficits & surpluses from October 1, 2020 through February 23, 2021. 

Precipitation deficits October 1, 2020 to February 23, 2021

 

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:

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, 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.

http://droInsert Row Beforeught.rcc-acis.org/

 

River and Stream Flow Conditions:

As of February 23, the river and stream flows were near-normal in northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin.

 

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:

Fire Danger Hazards:

As of the morning of February 23, low fire danger (fires are not easily started) was seen across Minnesota and 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  February 25 through  March 1, temperatures and precipitation will average near normal.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 22 to 27 degrees, and the normal precipitation is around 2 tenths of an inch. 

Beyond this time frame, the 8 to 14-day forecast (March 2-8) from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for enhanced chances for above-normal temperatures and precipitation.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees, and the normal precipitation is around 4 tenths of an inch. 

For March, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has tilted the odds toward warmer-than-normal across northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.  Elsewhere, there are equal chances of warmer-, near-, and colder-than-normal.  The odds are tilted toward wetter-than-normal in Wisconsin.  Elsewhere, there are equal chances of wetter-, near-, and drier-than-normal.

From April through June, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has tilted the odds toward warmer and wetter across the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

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: