Still Abnormally Dry
From August 26th through September 2nd, rainfall totals ranged from 0.72 inches in Gays Mills (Crawford County) to 4.70 inches Cresco IA (Howard County). The heaviest rain (2 to 5 inches) fell generally northwest of a New Hampton IA to Wisconsin Rapids WI line. This rain alleviated the abnormally dry (D0) conditions across southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa. Meanwhile 3 to 6 inch precipitation deficits (since early June 2014) still exist across all or parts of Crawford, Grant, and Vernon counties in southwest Wisconsin, so this area was left as abnormally dry (D0). The image below shows the precipitation amounts that have fallen from August 26th through September 2, 2014.
U.S. Drought Monitor Summary:
In the September 4th release of the U.S. Drought Monitor, abnormally dry (D0) conditions were found across parts of central South Dakota, south-central Minnesota, east-central Iowa, southwest and northeast Wisconsin, northwest Illinois, western Upper Michigan, northwest and the south-central Lower Michigan, northeast Indiana, and northwest Ohio.
Note: The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 7 a.m. Central Daylight Time.
Recent rains have ended the abnormally dry (D0) conditions in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, Winneshiek counties in northeast Iowa; Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower County in southeast Minnesota; and Adams, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, and Richland counties in western Wisconsin.
Meanwhile abnormally dry (D0) conditions still exist across Crawford, Grant, and Vernon counties in southwest Wisconsin.
National, State and Local Actions:No known actions are taking place at this time.
Persistent northwest flow from early July through mid-August brought several cold fronts through northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. These fronts reinforced the dry air across the area. Due to this, 3 to 6 inch precipitation deficits have developed across southwest Wisconsin. This allowed abnormally dry (D0) conditions to develop.
However recent rains have helped to moisten the top soil and lowered these precipitation deficits into the 1 to 3 inch range across northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota. Due to this, the abnormally dry conditions (D0) have been alleviated in these areas.
The images below are courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and it shows the precipitation departures from July 1 through September 2, 2014.
Below are the precipitation departures for various time periods in northeast Iowa.
Below are the precipitation departures for various time periods in southeast Minnesota.
Below are the precipitation departures for various time periods in western Wisconsin.
Since July 1st, Canadian cold fronts kept the area cooler-than-normal. From July 1st through September 2nd, temperatures averaged near normal to 2 degrees below normal. Fortunately, this has kept water demand by plants lower than normal.
The images below are courtesy of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and show the temperature departures from July 1 through September 2, 2014.
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:
The categories of drought are defined as follows:
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.
Disaster & Drought Assistance:
Other Drought Web Sites:
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:
River flows are currently near- to above-normal for this time of year.
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:
According to the Iowa USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, frequent precipitation hindered fieldwork with only 2.3 days suitable across the state during the week ending August 31, 2014. Above-average temperatures aided crop development, and farmers are hopeful these temperatures will continue. Wet conditions have slowed hay harvest. Diseases in both corn and soybeans were reported across the State.
Recent precipitation increased soil moisture. Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 15 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. East-central Iowa was the driest with one-quarter of its topsoil in very short to short condition.
Over ninety percent of Iowa’s corn crop was in the dough stage or beyond, 23 percentage points above of last year and 6 points above the five-year average. Fifty-three percent of the corn crop had reached the dent stage, 8 days ahead of the previous year but 4 days behind normal. With corn beginning to mature, 76 percent of the corn acreage was reported in good to excellent condition.
Ninety-six percent of the soybean crop was setting pods or beyond, 1 week ahead of last year but slightly behind average. Soybean leaves turning color reached 8 percent, 5 percentage points ahead of the previous year but 10 points behind the normal pace. Seventy-three percent of the soybean acreage was in good to excellent condition. Oat harvest for grain was virtually complete.
According to the Minnesota USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, spotty rain and soggy conditions kept small grain harvest behind the five year average across the state during the week ending August 31, 2014. Adequate moisture has helped pasture and row crop conditions continued to improve, however scattered reports suggest this has hurt the quality of hay and wheat in some counties. Several reporters are hoping for a late killing frost to give row crops a chance to mature.
Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 9 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 12 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.
Eighty-eight percent of the corn crop was at or beyond the dough stage, up 10 percentage points from the previous week, with 72 percent in good to excellent condition. Thirty-four percent of the corn crop was at or beyond the dent stage, 13 percentage points behind the 5 year average.
Ninety-five percent of the soybean acres are setting pods, up 3 points from the previous week. Soybean conditions increased slightly and now stand at 68 percent good to excellent.
Spring wheat harvest, at 35 percent complete, remains nearly three weeks behind the five year average. Fifty-six percent of the Spring wheat crop was in good to excellent condition.
Fifteen percent of the potato crop has been harvested, 8 points behind average. Potato conditions increased slightly to 84 percent good to excellent. Eighty-two percent of the oat crop is now harvested, one week the behind the five-year average.
Dry edible beans progressed to 92 percent setting pods. Dry edible bean condition remained the same at 55 percent good to excellent condition.
Sugarbeet conditions also remained unchanged at 70 percent good to excellent condition.
The second and third cuttings of alfalfa hay were 96 and 63 percent complete, respectively. All hay conditions increased to 70 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions increased to 67 percent good to excellent.
According to the Wisconsin USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, frequent rains kept many farmers out of fields this week, slowing hay, potato, and small grains harvests. Reporters noted heavy downpours, with weekly precipitation totals as high as 5.0 inches reported in some northeastern locations.
Topsoil moistures rose statewide, with 89 percent adequate to surplus compared to 82 percent adequate to surplus last week. Some reporters noted crops yellowing in low lying areas and difficulty accessing fields due to muddy conditions. Temperatures were above normal across the south and central portions of the state. The heat and moisture boosted corn development, but late plantings still had a long way to go before maturity. Reporters statewide commented that farmers are hoping for a warm fall with a late frost.
There were 3.5 days suitable for fieldwork statewide.
Across the reporting stations, average temperatures this week were 2 to 5 degrees above normal. Average high temperatures ranged from 77 to 82 degrees, while average low temperatures ranged from 59 to 67 degrees. Precipitation totals ranged from 0.85 inches in Milwaukee to 2.07 inches in La Crosse.
As of August 31, seventy percent of corn was in or past the dough stage, up 17 percentage points over the previous week. Twenty-three percent of corn was in or beyond the dent stage, up 13 percentage points from the previous week. Corn condition improved slightly with 71 percent rated good to excellent.
Ninety-three percent of soybeans were setting pods and 9 percent had leaves turning color. Soybeans condition was rated 72 percent good to excellent.
Seventy-three percent of oats for grain has been harvested.
Ninety-five percent of winter wheat for grain has been harvested.
Potatoes were 12 percent harvested with 73 percent rated in good to excellent condition.
The third cutting of alfalfa was 78 percent complete and the fourth cutting was 15 percent complete.
All hay condition was rated 83 percent good to excellent.
Pasture condition was rated 61 percent good to excellent, up 7 percentage points from the previous week.
County farm reporter and county agricultural agents said the following:
In Buffalo County, we had spotty rain but at least 2 to 5 inches of rain during the past week. Some pretty big storms. One person saw some cattle out in the field, so some lightning issues. Some hard, fast rain.
In Grant County, crops are looking good due to getting moisture.
In Vernon County, rain showers continue, but very spotty. Some locations received 2 to 3 inches in the past week and some just a trace. Corn starting to dry down and soybeans maturing.
The map below lists the Agricultural Districts in southeast Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and northeast Iowa.
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%.
Fire Danger Hazards:
As of the morning of September 2nd, low fire danger was reported in Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, and Winona counties in southeast Minnesota; and Adams, Buffalo, Clark, Crawford, Grant, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Taylor, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties in western Wisconsin.
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.
KBDI and Dead Fuel Moisture data can be found through the:
From September 4th through September 9th, temperatures will average near-normal and precipitation will average above normal. During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 62 to 67 degrees and the normal precipitation is around 7 tenths of an inch.
From September 10th through September 16th, the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is forecasting near- to below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation. During this time frame, the daily average temperatures range from 59 to 64 degrees and the normal precipitation is around 9 tenths of an inch.
The CPC seasonal outlook for September through November of 2014 calls for equal chances for above-, near-, and below-normal temperature and precipitation.
Below are the seasonal outlooks for the next year.
|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:
State climate impacts: