Recent Rainfall brings Some Drought Improvement (Updated 11/01)

An updated drought monitor map has been released (11/01). The beneficial rains of October have resulted in widespread drought improvement. Below are graphics illustrating rainfall across southern Wisconsin for the month of October. The graphic on the left is total rainfall and the graphic on the right is how many inches of rain fell that was above the normal for October. Note: Madison had the 11th wettest October on record with 4.56 inches.


Severe Drought Conditions (D2) exists near the Illinois border in Lafayette, Green, Rock, southern Walworth, and Kenosha Counties. A severe drought is likely to result in some crop and pasture losses. It may result in water restrictions as well.

Moderate Drought Conditions (D1) exists in Sauk, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, southern Waukesha, northern Walworth, and Racine Counties. A moderate drought is likely to result in some damage to crops, pastures, streams, reservoirs, or low wells, with some water shortages possibly developing. 

Abnormally Dry Conditions (D0) exists in Green Lake, Marquette, Columbia, Dodge, Washington, Ozaukee, northern Waukesha, and Milwaukee Counties. 

The maps below, which are based on analysis of multiple datasets, are released each Thursday at 7:30 AM Central Time.  Click on the images below to enlarge.

For more local information, see the latest Southern Wisconsin Drought Information Statement and visit our Southern Wisconsin Drought Information Page.

From June 1st through October 31st, Milwaukee and Madison were 4.94 and 6.74 inches below their normal values (i.e., the current deficit), respectively. Of which, Milwaukee received 12.43 inches of rain and Madison received 11.78 inches of rain in that time period. The graph below shows the observed running accumulation total for Milwaukee and Madison since June 1st, compared to their normal values, initialized to zero. Click the graph for a larger version.


The rains of October in Wisconsin allowed winter wheat, rye, and other fall cover crops to germinate and grow. The map below shows the percentage of U.S. winter wheat areas located in drought every week since June 5th. Click the graph for a larger version:



To view and compare current drought maps with previous maps, visit the archive at this website.

To view an animation of past drought maps, click here.

National Weather Service - Milwaukee/Sullivan WI

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