A majority of the region is in a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Maps updated on Thursday show areas of drought classified as “severe” have reached Renville, Lyon, and McLeod Counties, and are touching the borders of Redwood County.
Meteorologists say it would take about 18 inches of rain over the next three months to end the drought in the Boundary Waters area, currently the driest part of Minnesota. National Weather Service forecaster Brent Hewett says a lot of the rivers in western and northern Minnesota are at less than 10 percent of their average or normal flow.
Getting a lot of rain over the next three months isn’t likely because Minnesota only averages 10-to-14 inches of precipitation total between September and March.
Rain in the forecast Friday night provide some immediate relief, but it’s not expected to make a significant impact on the drought.
(The Associated Press and Learfield News contributed to this story.)