Southern Minnesota Shatters Precipitation Records
Tuesday Tom Hoverstad, who is a scientist at the Southern Research and Outreach Center at Waseca, was a guest on AM Minnesota. We were talking about the growing and the approaching harvest. Tom made the comment that the Experiment Station was only 1.3 inches away from the all-time record precipitation total for a growing season. The growing season is May through September. The next night they received 2.5 inches and then 7.64 inches the next night! There is a new growing season record precipitation total of more than 40 inches!
Not only has a growing season precipitation record been set, but many others as well. The 7.64 inches was the largest rainfall in 24 hours. Along with the 2.5 inches the day before it is the largest two-day rainfall total. With more than 14 inches in September this year, it is the wettest September on record. July, August and September is the wettest three-month period on record. Finally, the total precipitation total for this year is 48 inches. Tom said the record is 50 inches and, with more than three months left in 2016, "I can't imaging we won't break that record too." By the way, the records at the Southern Research and Outreach Center go back about 115 years.
The impact of the flooding on crops and farm fields is yet to be determined. I took this picture of Carleton College's flooded soccer fields Wednesday afternoon as I drove through Northfield. A lot of fields look like this, too, but you cannot see it because of how tall the corn and soybeans are. You would think that there would be some erosion of top soil in many fields plus damage to crops that may not be able to be harvested. How many days of dry weather will it take before we can get machinery across the fields? Maybe 10 days of dry weather?