Drought continues to keep St. Croix low and slow

Recent rains have not been enough to make much difference.




2 minute read

Drought conditions across the St. Croix River watershed. (Map by St. Croix 360)

St. Croix River water levels are still very low, as little rain is leaving the watershed dry. Crops are stressed, as are some other plants and wildlife.

The National Park Service is cautioning users of the upper river about low water levels, and telling paddlers to expect they will have to get out and drag their boats at some point.

This week’s National Drought Monitor summary for the Midwest reads:

It was feast or famine across this region. Heavy rains produced a broken pattern of improvement across southern Minnesota, central and northern Iowa, and southern Wisconsin. In stark contrast, drought across central and northern Minnesota intensified, and precipitation on time scales ranging from a couple months to almost a year was deficient enough to prompt the introduction of D4 in northern Minnesota – the first time drought of such intensity was identified in the state. Three-month totals there were 5 to 8 inches below normal, and 6-month shortages approached 10 inches.

National Drought Summary for August 10, 2021

These graphs show river flow at Danbury, St. Croix Falls, and Stillwater since June 1.

The river has continued to slowly drop all summer, with minor rises after rain. The water has stayed below average levels almost the entire season.


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Drought continues to keep St. Croix low and slow