Amazing we can be talking about drought when it was such a rough winter and wet couple of months, but we are.
When the ground freezes in December, water no longer permeates into the ground.
This means that if we have a dry ground going into the winter, we have a dry ground coming out of it.
All 60” -120” of snow that much of the area received does nothing for ground moisture because it just runs off into the rivers come spring.
But now that we have seen an epic amount of rain in the month of April, when most of the ground was unfrozen, we have gained ground on our dry fall with much of the soil now coming in with excess moisture.
Here is our current drought monitor for Minnesota and the Midwest.
You can see that parts of southwest Minnesota are still quite dry.
This is unfortunately where the heaviest rained lacked through this last storm and much of April for that matter.
Check out April rainfall across the Midwest.
You can see for yourself that the eastern half of the state did much better in April than the western half… hopefully Mother Nature will aid with some heavier moisture into southwest Minnesota as we go through May.
Here is another way to look at ground moisture.
The image below shows the overall water content for the top 6 feet of soil in the Midwest.
Much of central and eastern Minnesota is actually 1 to 3 inches above normal for total moisture content, but you go to the southwest and soil moisture quickly falls off.
Parts of western Iowa are 4-6 inches below normal with southwest Minnesota 2 or 3 inches below the average.
As temperatures warm, water evaporates quicker which could lead to extended crop issues in southern Minnesota if rain falls short the next couple of months.
Meanwhile, lakes are filling up in the metro, which is actually good news considering many of them have been running low for years.