National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Drought Comes to an End for the Area

Updated on Thursday, April 28, 2022
Next Scheduled Update:  Thursday, May 5, 2022



From April 20 to April 26, precipitation totals ranged from a half to around 2 inches. The largest precipitation totals were in Strawberry Point, IA (2.08 inches); near Lancaster, WI (1.87 inches), and Guttenberg Lock & Dam 10 (1.85 inches). Above-normal precipitation this spring has alleviated the moderate (D1) drought across central and southwest Wisconsin and in northeast Iowa.  This is the first week with no drought in the La Crosse Hydrological Services Area (HSA) since April 20, 2021.

U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:

In the April 26 release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, moderate (D1) to severe (D2) drought in west-central Iowa.

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions to a moderate (D1) drought were found in north-central Iowa.

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions continued in the Minnesota Arrowhead; north-central Minnesota; southwest and south-central Minnesota; northwest Wisconsin, the southern third of Wisconsin, far northern Illinois, and east-central Iowa.

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

U.S. Drought Monitor for April 26, 2022 

State Drought Statistics

Iowa Drought Statistics

Minnesota drought statistics

Wisconsin Drought Statistics




Local Area Affected:

‚ÄčAbnormally Dry (D1) in all or parts of:

  • Northeast Iowa:  Clayton, Floyd, and Mitchell counties.
  • Southeast Minnesota:  Mower County.
  • Western Wisconsin:  Adams, Grant, and Juneau counties.
La Crosse WI CWA Latest Drought Information

State/Local Government Actions:

No known actions are taking place at this time.

Climatological Summary:

Spring 2022:

  • From March 1 through April 26, 2022, there are up to 2-inch precipitation deficits from Charles City, IA to Sparta, WI. Elsewhere, there were up to 4-inch surpluses of precipitation. It was these surpluses that alleviated the drought across parts of northeast Iowa and from southwest into central Wisconsin. This is the first week with no drought in the La Crosse Hydrological Services Area (HSA) since April 20, 2021.

Since Last July:

  • From July 1, 2021, through April 26, 2022, 2 to 6-inch precipitation deficits were found from Clayton County, IA, and Grant County, WI northeast into central Wisconsin. Due to these long-term deficits, abnormally dry (D0) conditions still persist in parts of the area.

The maps below show precipitation deficits and surpluses for various time periods.

Precipitation deficits March 1 through April 25, 2022 Precipitation deficits July 1, 2021 to April 26, 2022
March 1 through April 26, 2022
Precipitation Departures

July 1, 2021, to April 26, 2022
Precipitation Departures


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 the website:

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.


River and Stream Flow Conditions:

As of the morning of April 26, the river and stream flow ranged from normal to much above-normal in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota and near-normal from southwest into central 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 April 24, 2022.


Rain, high winds, and cold conditions continued to stall spring planting, limiting Iowa farmers to 2.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Fieldwork activities were primarily applying anhydrous and fertilizer. Reports were received of limited corn and soybean planting as well as planting oats. In addition to periodic precipitation, cool soil temperatures have some farmers waiting to plant row crops.

  • Topsoil moisture conditions rated 4 percent very short, 18 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture conditions rated 9 percent very short, 29 percent short, 58 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.

Forty-seven percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 10 days behind last year and 5 days behind the 5-year average.

Pastures were slowly turning green. Hay supplies were dwindling in some areas. Livestock conditions were generally good, with calving in full swing.


Continued below-average temperatures and wet fields limited farmers to just 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.

  • Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 27 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 17 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 18 percent surplus. 

Oats planted were reported at 2 percent, and all other crops remained at 0 percent planted. The planting progress as of April 24 is the lowest since 2013.


Wisconsin had 1.7 days suitable for fieldwork for the week. The first part of the week provided yet more precipitation and cool temperatures, which averaged 3.5°F below normal for the week. The weekend, however, provided a glimpse of warm weather, and windy conditions helped to start drying out fields. Manure hauling and spring tillage continued where fields were able to support machinery.

  • Topsoil moisture conditions rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus.
  • Subsoil moisture conditions rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 17 percent surplus.

Spring tillage was reported as 8 percent complete, almost 3 weeks behind last year and 11 days behind the 5-year average.

Oats planted were reported as 8 percent complete, 18 days behind last year, and 12 days behind the average.

Potato planting was reported as 13 percent complete, 1 week behind last year, and 2 days behind the average.

Winter wheat condition was rated 68 percent good to excellent statewide, up 7 percentage points from last week.

Pasture condition was rated 41 percent good to excellent, up 3 percentage points from last week.

NASS Soil Moisture Conditions in Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota,
& Western Wisconsin as of April 24, 2022
Percent of Moisture
Very Short
Iowa  North-Central Top Soil 3 25 68 4
Sub Soil 8 48 42 2
Northeast Top Soil 1 4 87 8
Sub Soil 1 7 83 9
Minnesota  State Top Soil 2 7 64 27
Sub Soil 2 17 63 18
Wisconsin  Southwest Top Soil 1 6 85 8
Sub Soil 2 9 84 5
West-Central Top Soil 0 14 59 27
Sub Soil 0 17 73 10
Central Top Soil 0 4 65 31
Sub Soil 0 4 77 19
North-Central Top Soil 0 0 63 37
Sub Soil 0 1 63 36

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 April 26, there was moderate (fires start easily and spread at a moderate rate) to high fire (fires start easily and spread at a fast rate) danger in northeast Iowa and western Wisconsin, and moderate fire danger in southeast Minnesota. 

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 April 28 through May 3, temperatures will average below normal and precipitation will average above normal.  During this time frame, daily average temperatures range from 50 to 55°F, and the normal precipitation is around 8 tenths of an inch. 

Beyond this time frame, the 8 to 14-day forecast (May 4 through May 10) from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is for enhanced chances of colder-than-normal temperatures and near- to above-normal precipitation. The daily average temperatures for this period range from 53 to 58°F and the normal precipitation is around 9 tenths of an inch. 

From June through August, the Climate Prediction Center has tilted the odds toward warmer and drier-than-normal. Seasonal temperatures typically average from 67 to 73°F and precipitation ranges from 12 to 15 inches.  Due to the above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation, drought development is likely this summer for northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota.

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):

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:

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: