National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Abnormally Dry & Drought Conditions Expand

Updated on Thursday, September 29, 2022
Next Scheduled Update:  Thursday, October 4, 2022

 

Summary:


From 7 AM on September 20 through 7 AM on September 27, half to 1.5 inches of rain fell from Jackson County southeast through Adams and Juneau counties in central Wisconsin. In addition to this band, there was a narrow half to 1-inch rain band from northeast Winneshiek County in northeast Iowa southeast into far northern Grant County in southwest Wisconsin. Elsewhere, rainfall totals were up to a half inch during this time period.

Since August 1, rainfall deficits were up to 3 inches across all or parts of Crawford, Grant, La Crosse, and Monroe counties in southwest and west-central Wisconsin, and in Allamakee, Clayton, and Fayette counties in northeast Iowa. This resulted in the development of abnormally dry (D0) conditions in these aforementioned counties.

Since April 1, rainfall deficits of 2 to 8 inches have developed from Wabasha County in southeast Minnesota east into Clark and Jackson counties in central Wisconsin. The largest deficits (4 to 8 inches) are located in northern and eastern Wabasha County in southeast Minnesota and northwest Buffalo County in west-central Wisconsin. Due to these deficits, moderate (D1) to severe (D2) drought continues in northwest Buffalo County. Abnormally dry (D0) conditions were expanded south this week into Olmsted and Winona counties in southeast Minnesota, and moderate (D1drought was expanded into eastern Wabasha County in southeast Minnesota.

U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:

In the September 26 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, abnormally dry (D0) to extreme (D3) drought was found in northwest Iowa. 

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions to severe (D2) drought were found in southwest and east-central Minnesota; west-central and northwest Wisconsin; and southeast Iowa.

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions to moderate (D1) drought were found in west-central and northwest Minnesota, southwest Iowa; north-central Wisconsin, and central Illinois.

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions were found in northeast, central, and southwest Wisconsin; northeast Iowa; and northeast Illinois.

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

U.S. Drought Monitor for September 27, 2022 

State Drought Statistics

Iowa Drought Statistics

Minnesota drought statistics

Wisconsin Drought Statistics

Iowa

Minnesota

Wisconsin


Local Area Affected:

Abnormally Dry (D0) to Severe (D2) Drought in all or parts of:

  • Western Wisconsin:  Buffalo County.

Abnormally Dry (D0) to Moderate (D1) Drought in all or parts of:

  • Southeast Minnesota:  Wabasha County.

Abnormally Dry (D0) in all or parts of:

  • Northeast Iowa: Allamakee, Clayton, and Fayette counties.
  • Southeast Minnesota: Olmsted and Winona counties.
  • Western Wisconsin:  Clark, Crawford, Grant, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, and Trempealeau counties.La Crosse WI CWA Latest Drought Information


State/Local Government Actions:

No known actions are taking place at this time.

Climatological Summary:

From August 1 through September 27, 2022:

  • Rainfall deficits were up to 3 inches across all or parts of Crawford, Grant, La Crosse, and Monroe counties in southwest and west-central Wisconsin, and in Allamakee, Clayton, and  Fayette counties in northeast Iowa.
  • This resulted in the development of abnormally dry (D0) conditions in these aforementioned counties.
Precipitation deficits August 1 through September 26, 2022

From April 1 through September 27, 2022 (Growing Season):

  • Rainfall deficits ranged from 2 to 8 inches from Wabasha County in southeast Minnesota east into Clark and Jackson counties in central Wisconsin. 
  • The largest deficits (4 to 8 inches) were located in northern and eastern Wabasha County in southeast Minnesota and northwest Buffalo County in west-central Wisconsin. Due to these deficits, northern Wabasha County has moderate (D1drought and northwest Buffalo County has moderate (D1) to severe (D2) drought.
  • Abnormally dry (D0) conditions were expanded south this week into Olmsted and Winona counties in southeast Minnesota.
  • Moderate (D1drought was expanded into eastern Wabasha County in southeast Minnesota.
Precipitation deficits January 1 through September 20, 2022

 

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 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, 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 the length of periods without rain, temperature data, and more.  Click on the link below to gain access to this tool.

http://drought.rcc-acis.org/#

 

River and Stream Flow Conditions:

As of the morning of September 27, the river and stream flow ranged from below normal to above normal in southeast Minnesota, from normal to above normal in northeast Iowa, and near normal in 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:

The following reports came from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending on September 26, 2022.

Iowa:

Farmers took advantage of 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork to get harvest underway during the week. Fieldwork included harvesting row crops, chopping silage, and cutting hay.

  • Topsoil moisture conditions rated 14 percent very short, 29 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture conditions rated 20 percent very short, 30 percent short, 49 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

Corn in the dent stage or beyond was 97 percent, 1 week ahead of the 5-year average. Sixty-three percent of Iowa’s corn crop was mature or beyond, 2 days behind last year but 1 day ahead of the average. Harvest of the State’s corn crop was 5 percent complete, 5 days behind last year, and 1 day behind the 5-year average. Corn condition remained 64 percent good to excellent. Ninety percent of soybeans were coloring or beyond, 3 days behind last year. Soybeans dropping leaves or beyond were at 61 percent, 3 days behind last year and 1 day behind the 5-year average. Soybean harvest reached 7 percent, 4 days behind last year and 3 days behind the average. Soybean conditions rated 62 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-eight percent of the State’s third cutting of alfalfa hay was complete. Pasture condition rated 34 percent good to excellent.

Minnesota:

Minnesota had 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week. The weather across most of the state was typical for this time of year.

  • Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 7 percent very short, 25 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 7 percent very short, 24 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

Corn dented or beyond reached 94 percent. Corn mature was at 49 percent, two days behind the 5-year average. Corn harvested for grain was at 1 percent. Corn condition was 3 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. Corn for silage was 65 percent harvested.

Soybean coloring reached 93 percent. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 61 percent, 4 days behind average. Soybeans harvested were at 4 percent. Soybean condition was 2 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.

Oats were 99 percent harvested, barley was 99 percent harvested, and spring wheat was 98 percent harvested.

Dry edible beans were 88 percent dropping leaves and 60 percent harvested. Dry edible bean condition was 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 61 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Sunflower condition was 0 percent very poor, 0 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 77 percent good, and 6 percent excellent.

The potato harvest was 65 percent complete. Sugarbeet harvest was 9 percent complete. Sugarbeet condition was 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 22 percent good, and 56 percent excellent.

Pasture condition was rated 4 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 10 percent excellent.

Wisconsin:

Wisconsin had 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork for the week. The first reported frost in the north was light and patchy, but mostly the weather was both drier and warmer than normal. Crops progressed well, with corn silage being chopped and corn harvest beginning to be reported in some districts.

  • Topsoil moisture conditions rated 1 percent very short, 10 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture conditions rated 1 percent very short, 15 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.

Corn was 98 percent in the dough stage or beyond. Eighty-seven percent of corn had reached the dent state, 9 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the average. Forty-two percent of corn was mature, 3 days behind last year and 1 day behind the average. Corn condition was 78 percent good to excellent statewide, up 1 percentage point from last week. Corn for silage harvest was at 39 percent complete, 10 days behind last year, and 6 days behind the average.

Soybean coloring was 90 percent, 6 days behind last year but 3 days ahead of the average. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 54 percent, 5 days behind last year and 2 days behind the average. Soybean condition was 77 percent good to excellent, even with last week.

Potatoes harvested were at 56 percent, 3 days behind last year and 2 days behind the average.

Winter wheat planted was at 39 percent, even with last year and the average. Winter wheat emerged at 23 percent.

The fourth cutting of alfalfa was reported at 89 percent complete, 1 day ahead of last year and 15 days ahead of the average.

Pasture condition was rated 67 percent good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from last week.

Fall tillage was 8 percent complete, 1 day behind last year but 3 days ahead of average.

NASS Soil Moisture Conditions in Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota,
& Western Wisconsin as of September 25, 2022
State
Region
Soil
Percent of Moisture
Very Short
Short
Adequate
Surplus
Iowa  North-Central Top Soil 2 20 78 0
Sub Soil 4 22 74 0
Northeast Top Soil 4 18 77 1
Sub Soil 3 19 77 1
Minnesota  State Top Soil 7 25 66 2
Sub Soil 7 24 67 2
Wisconsin  Southwest Top Soil 0 7 86 7
Sub Soil 0 11 83 6
West-Central Top Soil 1 20 78 1
Sub Soil 2 31 66 1
Central Top Soil 0 0 90 10
Sub Soil 0 9 82 9
North-Central Top Soil 1 10 85 4
Sub Soil 1 11 88 0

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

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

Fire Danger Hazards:

As of the morning of September 27, there was low (fires are not easily started) fire danger in northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. 

NOTE: This is time-sensitive and conditions could change 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 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 September 28 through October 3, temperatures will average near normal and the rainfall will average below normal. During this time frame, daily average temperatures range from 54 to 59°F, and rainfall averages around 6-tenths of an inch. 

Beyond this time frame, the 8 to 14-day forecast (October 5 through October 11) from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is calling for enhanced chances for above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall. The daily average temperatures for this period range from 50 to 55°F and the normal rainfall is around 6 tenths of an inch. 

From November through January, the Climate Prediction Center has equal chances of above, near, and below-normal temperatures and precipitation. There are equal chances for wetter-, near-, and drier-than-normal across the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Seasonal temperatures typically average from 20 to 30°F and precipitation ranges from 4 to 5.5 inches.  

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: