DNR Q & A: What is the current drought situation?

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources field staff, resource managers and the DNR Information Center staff answer many questions every day about natural resources topics. Here is one of them:

Q. What is the current drought situation in Minnesota and will winter snows have an impact on the drought?

A. Currently, the U.S. Drought Monitor Map places more than 80 percent of Minnesota in the “severe drought” or “extreme drought” categories. The drought situation will remain unchanged until spring because the deeply frozen soil assures that very little winter precipitation will make it into the ground. As of late autumn, the soil moisture content in the plant rooting zone was near all-time low levels at many locations. Without abundant spring rains, a number of critical drought issues involving agriculture, forestry, horticulture, tourism and public water supply will begin to emerge.

For more information about the drought in Minnesota, go to www.mndnr.gov/climate/drought

— Greg Spoden, state climatologist

For more information, call the DNR information line at 296-6157 or go to the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

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