Sep 5, 2013 at 10:45 am
ST. CLOUD (KNSI) - Central Minnesota's drought is becoming more severe.
Thursday's updated U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that several counties in central Minnesota are now in a severe drought, including those making up the city of St. Cloud. The area comprises nearly 5 percent of the state.
State Climatologist Pete Boulay tells KNSI, it's the first time since June that any part of Minnesota has been rated that dry.
Overall, the total area of Minnesota rated abnormally dry or worse shrank slightly in the past week, from 85 percent to 79 percent, mainly due to improving conditions in parts of northeastern Minnesota.
Boulay says this isn't abnormal - the St. Cloud area was rated to be in a severe drought at this time last year.
He says water conservation is crucial at this time, and recommends all lawn watering be done less frequently and early in the morning.
Fifty-three percent of the state is in a moderate to severe drought, down about 2 percentage points from last week.
The main area with normal conditions is a strip across the Canadian border.
Temp: 21°F (-6°C)
Wind: Calm N