Rain gives rivers a boost, region gets relief from drought

Continued precipitation helps lift St. Croix basin out of long stretch of dry weather and low water.

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St. Croix River at Stillwater, April 18, 2024 (Submitted photo)

The St. Croix is seeing some relief this spring from a long dry spell. Around three inches of rain fell across much of the St. Croix watershed recently, primarily March 24-26 and April 7-8.

Here are the relevant precipitation records for Wild River State Park, centrally located in the watershed and a great place to enjoy the St. Croix:

DatePrecipitation (inches)
3/24/240.91
3/25/240.89
3/26/240.36
4/7/240.76
4/8/240.22
Data: National Weather Service

The weather has also remained mostly cool and cloudy, letting the water soak into the ground or flow into the river before evaporating.

All this has helped improve the drought status, with a large part of the basin removed from any drought designation for the first time since May 2023.

The St. Croix has seen a significant increase in flow as a result. The two rounds of rain are evident in the rapid rise, brief dip, and return to climbing. The river is also finally at its typical stage for this time of year, as the measured flows have hovered around the median.

There is also still plenty of water coming down the St. Croix’s tributaries. The Snake River in Pine City is just above flood stage, while the Snake River Canoe Race website includes daily water levels in Mora this time of year as the race on May 4 approaches:

The National Weather Service predicts the St. Croix will top out in the next seven days about a foot-and-a-half higher than currently. It should remain well below any significant flood stage.



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Rain gives rivers a boost, region gets relief from drought