is part of the Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

  • American Agriculturist
  • Beef Producer
  • Corn and Soybean Digest
  • Dakota Farmer
  • Delta Farm Press
  • Farm Futures
  • Farm Industry news
  • Indiana Prairie Farmer
  • Kansas Farmer
  • Michigan Farmer
  • Missouri Ruralist
  • Nebraska Farmer
  • Ohio Farmer
  • Prairie Farmer
  • Southeast Farm Press
  • Southwest Farm Press
  • The Farmer
  • Wallaces Farmer
  • Western Farm Press
  • Western Farmer Stockman
  • Wisconsin Agriculturist
Driest Autumn of All Time for Many Observers

Driest Autumn of All Time for Many Observers

Legacy of dryness begins at end of July.

The Minnesota State Climatology Office has summarized the precipitation deficiencies for September through November, and the numbers are astonishing for many southern counties.

From Goodhue and Dodge Counties in the east to Lincoln and Pipestone Counties in the west, much of the Minnesota landscape is in severe drought as a consequence. The Twin Cities has recorded the driest meteorological autumn in history with just 1.35 inches over September 1st to November 30th. You can read more about this at: www.climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/dry_fall_msp_2011.htm

Others (with their 3-month total precipitation noted in parenthesis) who have reported their driest autumn season are: Lakefield (0.84 inches); Lamberton (0.70 inches); Marshall (0.79 inches); Windom (0.89 inches); Worthington (1.01 inches); Fairmont (1.35 inches); New Ulm (1.32 inches); Owatonna (1.27 inches); Sherburn (0.82 inches); Waseca (1.60 inches); and Hutchinson (1.26 inches). Many others reported one of their driest autumns in history as well. You can see more data and read about this at: www.climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/drought_2011.htm  

The legacy of this dryness goes all the way back to the end of July. Actually a number of observers in southwestern and south-central Minnesota report the driest August through November period as well. Windom, Marshall, and Lamberton have had less than 1.50 inches of precipitation over that 4-month interval.

As a consequence of this dry period, soil moisture storage going into the winter season is extremely low. The Southwestern Research and Outreach Center at Lamberton reported less than 3 inches of stored soil moisture in the top 5 feet earlier in November, and most of this storage was deeper, between 3 and 5 feet. Similarly, at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, the early November soil moisture measurements were less than 5 inches in the top 5 feet, most of it in deeper layers. Such conditions predispose the Minnesota landscape to be in drought conditions for the start of next year's growing season, unless there is an early and very wet onset to spring.

-By Mark Seeley, U-M Extension climatologist

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish