Some drought conditions persist despite heavy spring precipitation

There’s been a record-setting wet spring in southeast Minnesota that included more than 12 inches of precipitation in Rochester in May. Well, there was a rather sharp cutoff that has resulted in a section of west central Minnesota remaining in drought.

How can this be? Systems that have swung north from Iowa dumped considerable precipitation from about Fairmont to St. Cloud and points east.

One of those storms resulted in record snowfalls. From the Minnesota Climatological Working group:

The Minnesota State Climatology Office will now regard the May 2, 2013 snowfall measurement made in Dodge Center as the largest official 24-hour May snowfall total ever recorded in Minnesota. The Dodge Center snowfall observation made at 7:00 AM CDT on May 2 was 15.4 inches. More snow fell after observation time, adding up to a storm total of 17.2 inches.

You can read more about the record May snowfall total here.

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The latest drought monitor graphic paints the region that remains short of moisture going back to last summer.

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A recent report from Thomas R. Hoverstad, a scientist at the University of Minnesota Ag Research Center in Waseca states that “with May bringing 23 of 31 days with precipitation and so far 4 of 5 days in June have been wet, it means that very little has been accomplished in the areas that still need to be planted.”

Research conducted in 1993-1995 showed that delaying planting until June 1 resulted in a 45 bu/A reduction in yield compared to what would be expected with full-season hybrids planted early. In addition to that yield reduction an additional 2.5 bu/A should be taken off for each day delayed after June 1.

Planting corn for grain after June 10 is not recommended. Soybeans are a little less sensitive to yield reductions from late planting and can be planted up to July 1.

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Tropical Storm Andrea is moving steadily northeast. The circulation center has already moved on shore.

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Heavy rainfall is likely up the eastern shoreline in the next 36 hours. As much as 5 inches of rain could flood regions in the eastern Carolinas to New Jersey.

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Water Vapor Satellite image from 245 p.m. CDT.

I hate to over-promise sunshine for your Friday, but I think there will be periods of sunshine over much of the state. High temperatures will still likely come up short of the seasonal normal, around 76 F in the Twin Cities.

The most likely period for showers and thunderstorms is from Saturday afternoon through Saturday night.

If you have an event scheduled outdoors Saturday evening you may wish to consider a Plan B.

Craig Edwards