More rain needed to alleviate area's dry conditions even as drought lessens

Oct. 26—WASECA — A Drought Monitor map for the state released Thursday indicates several counties in the region remain drier than usual — and that's seemingly a contradiction of what farmers are finding when they walk their fields.

"Their feet are getting wet," said Tom Hoverstad, a researcher with Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca.

"On the farm, there's been plenty of rain to recharge (soil moisture)."

The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor map for Minnesota took into account a lot more than the last week's heavy downpours, Hoverstad said.

"We need a lot more rain so that our lakes, rivers and ponds can refill," he said.

Conditions for most of Blue Earth and Nicollet counties are listed as "abnormally dry." A sliver of land on the northeast edge of Nicollet County is continuing to experience moderate drought, as are several townships near Blue Earth County's east border.

The map update does not include rainfall from the last few days.

In the southeast portion of the state, large areas of Mower and Fillmore counties that experienced severe and extreme drought last week continue to suffer from the driest conditions in the state.

Officials who gather statistics to create the Drought Monitor map expect that within the next few days, remnant energy and moisture from Tropical Storm Norma will stream northward to spread heavy rainfall to parts of the southern and central United States next week.

Northwestern Minnesota was getting snow on Thursday. Southern Minnesota is expected to see some snow showers on Saturday with high temperatures dipping down into the mid-30s, according to the National Weather Service.