Rainfall starting to catch up, still lagging in area

Published 10:14 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Though the Austin area and much of the state may finally be seeing some light at the end of the drought tunnel, Austin itself still lags many areas in precipitation.

According to the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis., Austin received 2.82 inches of rain during May, which is almost 2 inches fewer than Rochester and about a quarter of what many Twin Cities-area suburbs received. The norm for May is 3 to 4 inches.

Still, even a little rain has helped.

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“It has helped much of the state as far as getting rid of the drought,” said NWS Meteorologist Jeff Boyne.

Much of southern Minnesota was considered to be in a severe drought during the past months, as many areas received only half as much precipitation as needed since last fall. The current drought designation is swinging back toward “abnormally dry.” All told, Boyne said the drought wasn’t quite as bad as other memorable ones, such as 1988 or 1976.

While precipitation is creeping back toward normal, Boyne said, the next week will be abnormally cold. Austin may set a record Thursday as the temperature may only reach 56 degrees, which would be 4 degrees cooler than the previous record.