Rainfall was hit or miss this past weekend, June 26-27, where some parts of the Brainerd lakes area were winners and some were losers in the amount of rain seen.

The rain offered some relief to crops, plants and lawns — however, Crow Wing County and much of the state remain in a moderate drought.

“We are nowhere near meeting our rainfall deficit,” meteorologist Joe Moore with the National Weather Service in Duluth said. “It’s been very dry ... and last year we were in this constant state of being dry and were in the first category of what we call a moderate drought and ever since it has been back and forth. Last winter, into this spring we finally did get enough precipitation to get us back out of the drought, but with how dry we've been this spring and early summer, we've fallen right back into it and into it pretty hard. It's been very dry across most of the state of Minnesota.

“We just haven’t gotten a nice, good soaking rain in awhile and this is June. June is particularly important to Minnesota because this is the month where we see the most precipitation of any month. ... So we’re not doing so hot right now, as Brainerd is more than 2 inches shy of where it should be at this point of the month for this year.”

As of midnight Monday, Brainerd had 1.43 inches of rain for the month of June. This is 2.13 inches below the normal amount of 3.56 inches for June, which ends Wednesday. Since midnight Monday, another .21 inches of rain fell during the day, according to a reading at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport; and the forecast shows up to a half-inch of rain is anticipated by Tuesday morning. However, even with this precipitation, the Brainerd area and much of the state will continue to be in a moderate drought, Moore said.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

This bar graph by the National Weather Service shows the category of how severe the drought was in Crow Wing County. The graph dates back to 2000.  Screenshot / Jennifer Kraus
This bar graph by the National Weather Service shows the category of how severe the drought was in Crow Wing County. The graph dates back to 2000. Screenshot / Jennifer Kraus

And the rain was scattered — homeowners on Ruth Lake saw about a half-hour downpour later afternoon Saturday, yet not a drop of rain fell at Brainerd International Raceway, less than 5 miles away, during that time. As of 10 a.m. Monday, the Brainerd area saw less than an inch over the weekend — about .86 inches of precipitation as reported at the Brainerd airport. Values between almost no rain reported near Emily to nearly an inch and a half reported 3 miles northeast of Brainerd were observed over the weekend.

The weather service reports a chance of showers and thunderstorms for Crow Wing and Aitkin counties are expected this week, with dry conditions returning Thursday into Friday.

Moore said if Crow Wing County doesn't see any substantial rainfall in the next two weeks, it’s very likely the area will go from moderate to severe drought.

“It has been a long time since the drought has been this big, or severe,” Moore said. “In July 2020 there were some parts of the county that were in a moderate drought, but before that the last time the county was in that type of drought was the summer of 2015. Even further back in 2007, the county was in an extreme drought, which is the worst category in terms of a drought.”

Moore said the dry spell has been tough on the agriculture land where some farmers don’t have an irrigation system.

Weekend rainfall as of Monday morning

  • 1.40 inches reported 3 miles northeast of Brainerd;

  • 1.32 inches, 7.7 miles southeast of Brainerd;

  • 1 inch at Cross Lake Dam;

  • .86 inches at Brainerd airport;

  • .75 inches, 6.1 miles northwest of Trommald;

  • .64 inches, 11.6 miles north of Crosby;

  • .59 inches, 6 miles southeast of Pine River;

  • .57 inches, 3 miles northeast of Nisswa;

  • .56 inches, 1.5 miles southwest of Deerwood;

  • .55 inches in Breezy Point;

  • .54 inches, 8.4 miles northwest of Aitkin;

  • Less than a half-inch east of Brainerd, Ironton, southwest of Crosby, Fort Ripley and west of Aitkin; and

  • A trace in Baxter and Emily.

Detailed Brainerd area forecast

  • Tuesday: Patchy fog before 8 a.m. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph. Mostly clear at night, with a low around 58 and calm wind.

  • Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 85. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph in the morning. A low around 60 at night, with a north wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

  • Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 82. Light northeast wind becoming east 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph. Mostly clear at night, with a low around 53.

  • Friday: Sunny, with a high near 83. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph. A low around 58 at night.

  • Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 90. Low around 62.

  • Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 91.

JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at jennifer.kraus@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.