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From drought, to flooding, back to drought: Minnesota's wild weather year

Some Minnesota counties back in drought
Some Minnesota counties back in drought 02:05

HOPKINS, Minn. -- Just months after portions of Minnesota dealt with the worst flood conditions in decades, the state is once again dealing with drought conditions.

Data shared by the Department of Natural Resources shows portions of Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka County in the "Moderate" drought stage.

It has even the most seasoned water experts in the state scratching their heads.

"We either have a lot, or we don't have any (water)," said Craig Schmidt, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service Twin Cities Office. "It's all or nothing. We're not getting any kind of middle road at all."

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Schmidt says in what would typically be the wettest part of the summer, portions of Minnesota are now looking at record lows in terms of precipitation. In the past month, areas of the state have gotten less than one inch of rain.

"To go from as dry as we were last year, to as wet as it was over the winter, to as dry as it is now, those swings are just crazy," Schmidt said. "It would be nice to see something around normal for a change. It would be really great to see that."

In Hopkins, public works officials are asking people to do their part to conserve – not watering their lawns between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and alternating days in which they water.

"We're trying to avoid where we're trying to keep people from really restricting their water usage in their households," said Hopkins Public Works Director Chuck Autio. If you're going out and you're going to water your grass on the wrong day, and over-irrigate your shrubs and bushes, you're taking water away from someone down the line if we do get into a serious drought." 

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