Exploring Weather and Lake Level Data

It’s been a wet, active, and memorable spring in Aitkin County!

Last summer’s drought is all but a distant memory during this wet spring. All of Aitkin County (and most of Minnesota) has shed any lingering drought status. That said, even with the never-ending rain, we’ve had worse; April was only the 46th wettest April on record for Aitkin County. These statistics and more can be found at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Drought.gov site, linked here: https://www.drought.gov/states/minnesota/county/Aitkin

A graph of historical conditions in Aitkin County; years with dark blue peaks were exceptionally wet, while dark red indicates high levels of drought.

That said, it has been a wet spring, and in Aitkin County, that means lots of wondering about lake levels.

Lake levels on most of Aitkin County’s lakes are not regularly monitored by the Aitkin County SWCD. However, the DNR may complete their own monitoring — search for your lake with the DNR’s LakeFinder tool. After clicking on the Lake Finder link, you can type in the lake name and/or the name of the county the lake is located in.

The MN DNR Lake Finder page for Mille Lacs Lake.

Curious to know how this summer’s weather is shaping up? Or maybe even further? The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center publishes predictions for weather patterns in the near future (from next week up to a year from now). These maps show the chances of developing patterns of above/below average temperatures and precipitation. You can find these predictions here: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

For example, right now, the forecast for northern Minnesota calls for a slightly-warmer than average summer, with average amounts of precipitation.

Here’s to a drier summer!