With this past winter's often wacky weather it has been difficult to find good news.
However, good news did arrive this week with the issuance of NOAA's Drought Monitor on Thursday. There has been a 22 percent decrease in drought coverage across the state of Minnesota.
The drought monitor shows conditions have improved in the last week with the north woods now being classified as "Abnormally Dry" compared to "Moderate Drought" last week. That improvement came on the heels of around an inch of precipitation that fell last Sunday and Monday in the form of wind-driven rain that ended Monday morning as light to moderate snow.
Nearly three inches of precipitation has fallen across the area since the end of March.
Monday morning's snow accumulated to around 2 inches in Bemidji. A mere pittance when compared to the Iron Range, where up to 12 inches was reported in the Chisholm area.
Look for more rain today and overnight as the National Weather Service is predicting a 70 percent of showers. Up to a half inch of rain is possible.
Temperatures should remain seasonally moderate for the next week with high temperatures reaching into the mid to upper 50s and morning lows bottoming out in the upper 30s. More snow is possible across the Iron Range and into the high ground west of Lake Superior Sunday morning.
While it has seemed much cooler across the area recently, temperatures are still averaging much above normal. It is interesting to note that April 21 is the first day of the year where the average low temperature is 32 or above. April is a time of great weather variability.
Today's record high is 95, set in 1980 and the record low is 16, set in the unusually cold April of 1966. Record low temperatures in the single digits have been recorded as late as April 30 in Bemidji.
TOM SIEMERS is the Pioneer's circulation director.