MINNEAPOLIS - The Twin Cities metro area has been downgraded (or upgraded depending on your take) from "moderate drought" to "severe drought" in the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report which takes into account the latest data over the last week.
Conditions continue to worsen on average state wide due to a lack of any significant rainfall now for more than two months in some areas. In the metro area we're running more than four inches behind normal for rainfall since September 1st (beginning of meteorological autumn). Our normal rainfall since September 1 should be about 4.58 inches, and we've seen just a mere 0.37 inches of precipitation. This doesn't take into account the meagre August rainfall amounts either. The drought didn't really take hold in the Twin Cities metro until early to mid August, but ever since we've seen no rainfall event greater than 0.19 at any one time.
For the year, we were running a bit ahead thanks to the wet spring and early summer, but conditions have since deteriorated so much that we've erased those incredible spring rainfall amounts. Our annual total is now 0.66 inches below normal, but when you take into account the more than four inch annual deficit from last year, we're running almost a half foot below normal for rain for 2011 and 2012 combined.
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