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Parts of northwest MN are abnormally dry

According to the Midwest Regional Climate Center 2.93 inches of precipitation, or 1.98 inches less than normal have fallen since March 1 at the University of Minnesota's Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston.  As it takes some time for all of last fall and winter's precipitation to evaporate or run off from or infiltrate fields in northwest Minnesota, lower than average rain during planting was not a worry.

However the facts that only 0.9 inches have fallen since April 4 (Figure 1), warmer air can hold more water and we tend to get strong winds, means that parts of northwest Minnesota are considered abnormally dry (Figure 2) and much of the rest of the region could use a little rain to help with germination and crop growth and development.

Figure 1. Daily (red bars) and cumulative (black line) precipitation in inches at the Northwest Research & Outreach Center in Crookston (data source: Midwest Regional Climate Center).  
Figure 2. US Drought Monitor map valid May 26, 2020. Potential impacts of abnormally dry soil conditions means that pasture and row crops are stressed. Map source: US Drought Monitor and National Drought Mitigation Center

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