Some Small Improvements 
in the Drought Situation

Updated on Thursday, November 22, 2013 - Jeff Boyne
Next Scheduled Update on Thursday, December 19, 2013

Daily Monitoring of Drought Impacts & Outlooks

 
   
Summary:

From November 12th through November 19th, 1 to 2 inches of rain fell southwest of a Wausau, WI to Waterloo, IA line. Elsewhere rainfall totals were mainly less than a half inch. Normally a half inch of precipitation falls during this week. The image below shows how much precipitation has fallen during the aforementioned time period.

Precipitation from November 12th through November 19th, 2013

This precipitation alleviated some of the abnormally dry conditions (D0) across Allamakee, Clayton, and Fayette counties. Elsewhere there was no change in the drought situation.

Drought Impact Summary:

This drought has mainly impacted agriculture.  Here are some more details:

Agriculture: 

  1. It reduced soybean and corn yields on non-irrigated and sandy soils.  Many corn fields in Adams, Juneau, and Monroe counties were only 2 to 5 feet tall with anywhere from none to 3 ears on each stalk.  Some soybean fields in these same counties were less than 2 feet tall which is half of the normal height.  This caused some farmers to chop up their crops for silage. 
  2. Some fruit was aborted or it was smaller than normal. 
  3. Pumpkins were smaller and fewer in numbers.

U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:

In the November 19th release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, severe drought (D2) remained across parts of west-central Wisconsin, central Iowa, and central Illinois. Moderate drought (D1) was found across north-central, central, and southwest Minnesota northwest Illinois, and northern Missouri. Abnormally dry (D0) conditions were found across much of northern Minnesota, southwestWisconsin, the Thumb Area of Lower Michigan, northeast North Dakota, and far eastern South Dakota, northeast and north-central Illinois, and northern Indiana.

Note: The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 6 a.m. Central Time.

U.S. Drought Monitor for November 19, 2013 

State Drought Statistics

Iowa Drought Statistics

Minnesota drought statistics

Wisconsin Drought Statistics

Iowa

Minnesota

Wisconsin

Local Area Affected: 

Moderate (D1) to severe drought (D2) continues across Buffalo, Jackson, and Trempealeau counties in central and west-central Wisconsin. 

Moderate drought (D1) exists in Monroe and La Crosse counties in Wisconsin

Abnormally dry (D0) to moderate drought (D1) are found in Adams, Crawford, Juneau, Richland, and Vernon counties in Wisconsin; and Wabasha and Winona counties in southeast Minnesota.

No drought to moderate drought (D1) exists in Clark County in central Wisconsin.

Abnormally dry (D0) conditions are found in all or parts of Dodge, Houston, Mower, and Olmsted counties in southeast Minnesota; Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Mitchell, and Winneshiek counties in northeast Iowa; and Grant and Taylor counties in Wisconsin.

County map of drought conditions across northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and western Wisconsin as of November 19, 2013.

National, State and Local Actions:

No known actions are taking place at this time.

Climatological Summary:

Precipitation:

From July 1st through November 19th, between 8.24 (Sparta, WI - Monroe County) and 14.90 inches (Grand Meadow, MN - Mower County) of rain has fallen across northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and western Wisconsin.  The lowest precipitation totals in the La Crosse Hydrologic Service Area (HSA) were at Sparta, WI (8.24 inches Monroe County); New Hampton, IA (8.34 inches - Chickasaw County); and Minnesota City Dam, MN (8.67 inches - Winona County).  Normally, 15.29 to 17.95 inches of precipitation falls during this time period.

Sparta, WI only received 7.66 inches of rain.  This is 8.24 inches below the long-term average of 16.16 inches.  This is the third driest since July 1st.  Only 1976 (4.04 inches) and 1948 (6.88 inches) were drier.

The images below are courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and it shows the precipitation departures from July 1 through November 19, 2013.

Precipitation Departures from July 1 through November 19, 2013

Temperatures:

From July 1st through August 18th, temperatures averaged 1 to 3 degrees below normal.  This tempered the effects of the dryness. 

From August 19th through October 15th, temperatures averaged 3 to 6 degrees above-normal. The warmer temperatures both helped and hurt the vegetation.  While the warmer temperatures provided some much needed growing degree days, the lack of soil moisture caused stress on the plants. During this time period, much of the area went from abnormally dry (D0) to moderate (D1) and severe (D2) drought   La Crosse Regional Airport had an average temperature of 67.8 degrees. This was 5.8 degrees above the 1981-2010 normal of 62.0 degrees. This is the warmest for this time period.  The previous record for this time period was 66.5 degrees in 1948.

From October 16th through November 19th, temperatures averaged 2 to 4 degrees below-normal. This lowered the water demand of the plants; thus, allowing the soils to replenish their moisture with near to above-normal October and November precipitation. As a result, much of northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and western Wisconsin have seen improvement in their drought situation.

The images below are courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and show the temperature departures from July 1 through November 19, 2013.

Temperature Departures from July 1 through November 19, 2013

The tables below show the precipitation deficits/surpluses for various time periods.

Southeast Minnesota Precipitation Deficits/Surpluses for Various Time Scales

Northeast Iowa Precipitation Deficits/Surpluses for Various Time Scales

Western Wisconsin Precipitation Deficits/Surpluses for Various Time Scales

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:

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home.aspx

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:

City Information:

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://drought.rcc-acis.org/


River and Stream Flow Conditions:

While recent rains have kept flows in the 20 to 80 percentile range for a majority of the rivers in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, the Mississippi River in Wisconsin and Minnesota and the South Fork of the Zumbro River in Minnesota still remain at 20 percent or less of normal.

Listed below are some current (November 19th) river and stream flows, in cubic feet per second (cfs), and their percentile versus historical daily stream flow for the day of the year.  These are for selected rivers and streams in our service area with long periods (over 30 years) of record as measured by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS River Flow Values as of November 19, 2013
River
Location
Flow
(cfs)
Percentile of historical daily stream flow for the date listed above
Black Black River Falls, WI
597
60
Galesville,WI* 879 45
Neillsville, WI* 219
52
Big Roche Cri Creek
Arkdale, WI
98
39
Bloody Run Marquette, IA 23 72
Cedar Austin, MN* 80 39
Charles City, IA*
267
36
Osage, IA* 211
51
Grant Burton, WI*
176
79
Kickapoo La Farge, WI*
179
79
Ontario, WI*
58
58
Steuben, WI*
630
80
La Crosse La Crosse, WI
439
87
Sparta, WI
145
48
Lemonweir New Lisbon, WI
201
31
Little Cedar Ionia, IA
65
48
Mississippi River Winona, MN NA Very Low
McGregor, IA 12,800
NA
Root Near Houston, MN
541
61
Pilot Mound, MN
269
52
South Fork Near Houston, MN
139
NA
Trempealeau Dodge, WI*
434
71
Turkey Eldorado, IA 198 64
Elkader, IA
348 71
Garber, IA
464 54
Spillville, IA
76 58
Upper Iowa Bluffton, IA
150
54
Decorah, IA 174 58
Dorchester, IA
316
52
Volga Fayette, IA
20
33
Littleport, IA
99
39
Wisconsin Muscoda, WI
7,530
61
Yellow Near Ion, IA
76
69
Yellow Necedah, WI
180
47
Zumbro South Fork Rochester, MN*
77
25
* These sites have current stage and a forecast out to 90 days available at the National Weather Service's Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) Web Page.

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:


Agricultural Impacts:

Iowa

According to the Iowa USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, only seven percent of corn in Iowa remained in the field following the week ending November 17, 2013.  Statewide there were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork.  Other activities for the week included fertilizer application, fall tillage, tile installation, and baling corn stalks.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 10 percent very short, 21 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.  Subsoil moisture levels rated 21 percent very short, 37 percent short, 41 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.  Grain movement from farm to elevator was rated 41 percent moderate to heavy.  Ninety-four percent of Iowa reported adequate or surplus off-farm grain storage availability and 85 percent reported adequate or surplus on-farm grain storage availability.

Iowa farmers harvested five percent of their corn for grain or seed during the week advancing harvest to 93 percent complete, six percentage points ahead of normal.  Soybean harvest was 99 percent complete, at the normal pace.  South-central Iowa lagged behind the rest of the State with 87 percent of corn and 95 percent of soybeans harvested. 

Pasture condition rated 23 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 16 percent good and 1 percent excellent.  Hay supplies were considered 17 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus across Iowa with 91 percent rated in fair to good condition.

Minnesota

According to the Minnesota USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, dry conditions allowed Minnesota corn harvest to remain ahead of the normal pace during the week ending November 17, 2013.  There were 5.6 days rated suitable for field work, the most in any week so far this month.  Minnesota’s average temperature was 0.9 degree above normal at 32.2 degrees.  Northwest Minnesota had the coldest average temperature at 29.4 degrees.  The average precipitation was below normal at 0.15 inch statewide.  North-central Minnesota had the most precipitation at 0.24 inch.

Topsoil moisture decreased slightly to 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 83 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus.  Subsoil moisture rated 2 percent very short, 20 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. 

Corn for grain harvest advanced seven percentage points to 94 percent complete, remaining over a week ahead of normal.  Minnesota’s sunflower harvest advanced seven percentage points to 86 percent complete, but remained behind the normal pace of 89 percent.

Wisconsin

According to the Wisconsin USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, the week opened and closed with precipitation, with a few days suitable for fieldwork midweek. Frost helped firm wet ground in the north, while producers contended with muddy conditions in other areas, especially in the northeast.  Topsoil moisture was 52 percent surplus in the northeast district and 58 percent surplus in the east -central district. Some progress was made on the corn and soybean harvests before Saturday and Sunday brought more rain and severe weather to much of the state.  Grain moisture content reportedly remained high, but with November halfway over farmers were racing to combine and till their fields whenever conditions allowed.  Reporters commented that driers were working around the clock to dry grain for storage.  Fall plantings were reportedly responding well to the moist conditions.  There were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork this week.

Across the reporting stations, average temperatures last week were 1 degree below normal to 1 degree above normal.  Average high temperatures ranged from 45 to 48 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 25 to 31 degrees.  Precipitation totals ranged from 0.19 inches in Eau Claire to 0.97 inches in Green Bay.

Corn for grain was 74 percent harvested.  Grain moistures were reportedly between 20 and 30 percent across much of the state.  Corn stalks were being baled as fields were cleared.

Soybeans were 93 percent harvested.

Fall tillage was 55 percent complete, with farmers racing to spread manure before the ground freezes.

Selected Quotes from Farm Reporters and County Agriculture Agents...

In Clark County, we received about 1 inch of rain on Saturday evening.  We are finally done with plowing this year.

In Crawford County, the recent wet weather has slowed the harvest of corn fields throughout the county.  In addition, not much fall tillage has taken place.  Both corn and soybean yields in the county have been respectable for the type of year we've had and right now we might need a hard freeze to wrap up fall harvest.  The fall seeded winter wheat looks good.

In Grant County, we received some much needed rain which should help build up the subsoil moisture.  There is still much corn to be harvested yet.  There won't be any field work for some time now.

In Jackson County, it rained on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday (14th, 16th and 17th).

NASS Soil Moisture Conditions
in Iowa, Minnesota, & Wisconsin
State
Sub soil or Top Soil
Region
Percent
Very Short
Short
Adequate
Surplus
Iowa
as of
November 17, 2013
Top Soil North-Central
8
21 70
1
Northeast 4
21
75
0
State
10
21 66
3
Subsoil North-Central
10
37
53
0
Northeast
6
32
61
1
State
21
37
41
1
Minnesota
as of
November 17, 2013
Top Soil State
1
8
83
8
Subsoil State 2 20 76
2
Wisconsin
as of
November 17, 2013
Top Soil North-Central
0
0
75
25
West- Central
7
30
61
2
Central
0
1
91
8
Southwest
8
29
58
5
State
4
14
65
17
Subsoil North-Central
0
11
65
24
West- Central
19
51
30
0
Central
7
23
69
1
Southwest
11
33
54
2
State
9
27
53
11

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:

Soil moisture supply measures how much moisture is present in cropland top soil 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.


 

 

 


Fire Danger Hazards:

As of the morning of November 19h, low fire danger continued to be reported in Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, MowerOlmsted, Wabasha, and Winona counties in southeast Minnesota; and Adams, Buffalo, ClarkCrawford, GrantJacksonJuneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Taylor, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties in western Wisconsin.

Burning permits are still required in the following counties: Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Olmsted, Mower, Wabasha, and Winona counties in southeast Minnesota.

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 November 21st through November 26th, temperatures will average below normal and precipitation will average near normal.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 26 to 31 degrees and the normal precipitation is around four tenths of an inch.

From November 27th through December 3rd, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting below-normal temperatures and precipitation.  During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 22 to 27 degrees and the normal precipitation is around four tenths of an inch.

The CPC seasonal outlook for the winter of 2013-14 (December 1, 2013 through February 28, 2014) calls for equal chances of below-, near-, and above-normal temperatures and precipitation.

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):


Questions or Comments: 

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information please contact the NWS La Crosse at:

E-mail: w-arx.webmaster@noaa.gov
Telephone: 608-784-8275

The Climate focal point at the NWS La Crosse is Jeff Boyne.

Other Contacts:

Local Agricultural Impacts:

State climate impacts:


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