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State climatologists say weekend rain won't be enough to fix drought

Minnesota state climatologists say most of Minnesota is 6 to 10 inches below normal when it comes to precipitation.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — We are finally getting some rain this weekend.

It's a blessing for many farmers who are dealing with dried out farm fields and homeowners who are dealing with brown grass in their yard.

But will this rain be enough to fix this drought?

State climatologists say the rain will help a little, but it’s basically just a drop in the bucket compared to what the state needs right now.

“This is not enough to undo the drought,” Minnesota climatologist Dr. Kenny Blumenfeld said.

"Most of the state is 5 to 10 inches behind, just on the growing season. For the entire year there are spots that are behind more than 12 inches.”

So, we'll need a lot more rain to catch up.

"What we need to undo the drought is multiple widespread precipitation events that deliver 1, 2 or even 3 inches of rain over a large area, and you need this to happen week, after week, after week,” Blumenfeld said.

And the clock is ticking.

Blumenfeld says most of Minnesota's precipitation happens between May and September.

The snow this winter will help a little, but he says even the snowiest winter on record still wouldn't be enough to undo this drought.

"If we had a couple hundred inches of snow, sure, then we'd talk about a really wet spring, but that would be difficult in other ways because we’re not used to dealing with hundreds of inches of melted snow here in Minnesota,” Blumenfeld says.

Friday morning Gov. Tim Walz held a virtual roundtable with Minnesota farmers to talk about the drought.

Most farmers are struggling to save their crops and feed their livestock this summer.

"There is a fierce sense of urgency to get something done,” Walz said.

Walz says Minnesota will soon receive $17 million from the federal government to help farmers and he's hoping the state legislature will be able to pass a relief package during their special session next month.

But as bad as this drought is, it's not the worst that we've ever seen.

Climatologists say we've seen several droughts that were much worse in our state's history.

So, if we made it through those ones, they say we can make it through this one.

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