Storm Team 4: Officials declare extreme drought in Milwaukee area, despite rain

The U.S. Drought Monitor officially declared the Milwaukee area in an extreme drought on Thursday morning. Officials say that means "major crop and pasture losses, widespread water shortages or restrictions."

  • MILWAUKEE - Many areas of Southeastern Wisconsin experienced rain levels of an inch or more.

    But after a summer with little rain, it's nowhere near enough to change the drought conditions our area has endured.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor officially declared the Milwaukee area in an extreme drought on Thursday morning.

    Officials say that means "major crop and pasture losses, widespread water shortages or restrictions."

    "If you had a record of 100 years, most of the indicators right now are falling into the driest three to five events that have ever taken place," said climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center.

    "We've had such a prolonged period of time without any precipitation that the soil is very dry. It's going to take a lot more of what we had last night to alleviate the problem," said Storm Team 4Caster Scott Steele.

    Click here for a photo gallery of the storms that came through Wednesday night, and check out a video version as it aired on Live at Daybreak.

  • "Today, even after today's rain, we're still going to be more than three-and-a-half inches from where we should be."

    Many areas to the south of Milwaukee received nearly two inches of rain.

    "The heaviest stuff was down to the south: Racine picking up almost an inch of rain, Kenosha almost two inches as well. "

    However, Scott says rain totals were nowhere near those levels in Milwaukee County and north.

    "Up to the north, certainly much less, anywhere between about a quarter of an inch to a third of an inch from Waukesha through Fond du Lac on over to Sheboygan. Milwaukee officially with less than an inch, about eight-tenths."

  • Scott also tells us that we shouldn't expect rain to relieve us from the drought for the next week.

    "Even though we did get that steady rain, and it was a decent amount, the seven-day outlook shows no additional precipitation," warned Scott.

    "We show a dry spell with more hot weather."

  • Thursday's Storm Team 4Cast from Scott Steele:

    Today: Rain diminishing then breezy and warm with breaks of sun late
    High: Near 83
    Wind: NE 5-15 mph

  • Thursday's Storm Team 4Cast from Scott Steele:

    Tonight: Clearing skies, breezy, and mild
    Low: Near 67
    Wind: NE 7-15 mph

  • Thursday's Storm Team 4Cast from Scott Steele:

    Friday: Sunny and seasonal
    High: Near 82
    Wind: NE 7-15 mph

  • Thursday's Storm Team 4Cast from Scott Steele:

    Friday night: Mainly clear and mild
    Low: Near 64
    Wind: NE 7-12 mph

  • Thursday's Storm Team 4Cast from Scott Steele:

    Saturday: Mostly sunny and hot
    High: Near 92

    Click here for a photo gallery of the storms that came through Wednesday night, and check out a video version as it aired on Live at Daybreak.