REGIONAL— Recent rains have lowered the fire danger across the North Country, but have barely impacted the longstanding effects of the region’s drought. Much of northern St. Louis, Lake, …
REGIONAL— Recent rains have lowered the fire danger across the North Country, but have barely impacted the longstanding effects of the region’s drought. Much of northern St. Louis, Lake, and Koochiching counties remain in extreme drought while in other parts of the region the drought is listed as severe, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Since April 1, much of the area is currently at or below the tenth percentile for precipitation and that lack of precipitation has left stream and lake levels extremely low. While the recent rains improved water levels somewhat, the amount varies considerably by watershed. The Vermilion River remains at an extremely low level, of just 24 cubic feet per second, or cfs. That’s less than ten percent of the river’s average flow for September of 267 cfs.
By contrast, more substantial rains that fell in the Cook and Orr areas last week have helped to boost the flow in the Little Fork River, at least temporarily. As of Monday, the DNR was reporting that flow in the Little Fork had jumped to 155 cfs, up from 37 the week before. That’s the only watershed in the region that is currently considered in the normal range for this time of year.
The Basswood River, near Ely, remains at a near-record low, with a flow of 104 cfs, up from 99 the week before. Normal late September flow in the Basswood River would be approximately 750 cfs.
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