This is starting to look very familiar. Six months ago portions of Minnesota were in the middle of a moderate to severe drought due to lack of spring and summer thunderstorms. We have started the New Year with a lack of snow and moisture across a large swath of central Minnesota.
Through the first three weeks of January the only area of the state receiving anywhere close to near normal precipitation is southeast Minnesota, where a couple of snowfalls have tallied up to about four tenths of an inch of moisture. Compare that to the climate data listed on the NWS website for Redwood Falls that shows only a trace of moisture for the month. Extend the landscape east and north and we find less than two tenths of an inch of liquid precipitation at St. Cloud, Alexandria, Minneapolis, Duluth and International Falls.
Arctic air will make an encore, but not up to the earlier breath-taking appearance on Wednesday and Thursday. Sub zero temperatures funneled indoors and heated to 70 degrees produce a relative indoor humidity of less than 10 percent. Dryness outdoors translates to arid like conditions in your living space.
Check out the latest snow cover on NOAA’s remote sensing center website.