The last outpost of officially designated drought in Minnesota should be wiped away sometime in late summer or early fall, according to the national Climate Prediction Center.

Parts of Clearwater and Beltrami counties in northwest Minnesota were described as having moderate drought in the latest weekly national drought map, released Tuesday. A seasonal outlook released Thursday indicated that designation should disappear by Oct. 31, leaving the entire state free of any drought or “abnormally dry” designation for the first time since July, 2011.. As recently as April 9, nearly 98 percent of the state was in some kind of drought condition.

Minnesota had its third-wettest January-through-June period in 119 years of record-keeping. Neighboring Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as Michigan and Illinois, experienced their wettest.

The entire U.S. east of the Mississippi River is now drought-free for the first time since May 2005, according to the National <URL destination="">Climatic<PARAGRAPH style="$ID/[No paragraph style]">cq


bill mcauliffe