Drought that gripped much of Minnesota from midsummer last year into early winter has been wiped out over most of the state.

The Twin Cities has experienced its sixth-wettest March-through-May on record. The 13.22 inches of precipitation as of midday Thursday was about a half-inch less than fell only last March-through-May, which was the second-wettest on the books.

Meanwhile, it’s been the wettest March-through-May in 98 years of records at the University of Minnesota’s Southern Research and Outreach Station in Waseca, where 15.66 inches of precipitation has fallen. The wet spring is bogging down corn-planting across the southern part of the state, said outreach station scientist Tom Hoverstad.

Since April 1, precipitation has been above normal over the entire state of Minnesota. But the national Drought Monitor, reflecting extremely dry conditions going back through last August, still classifies about 20 percent of the state, particularly southwest Minnesota, as being in moderate or extreme drought.

But drought status is often a matter of timing and interpretation, Hoverstad said.

“We’re always only two weeks away from the next drought,” he said.

Bill McAuliffe