Besides a rain gauge, one barometer for measuring how much rain has fallen in central Minnesota in a given season is to note the water level of Mille Lacs Lake.
To visually measure the water level of the big lake, one need only check the situation in the harbor of Mille Lacs Island Resort (pictured) which is experiencing high water for this time of the year. Because of evaporation and the drying up of the dozen or so watershed tributaries to the lake during the heat of the summer, Mille Lacs lake levels will typically drop 8-12 inches by late July or early August from its normal highs of early June.
This summer and into early fall, that typical drop in water level did not occur because of extraordinary amounts of rain. As of Oct. 24, following another barrage of precipitation last week, Minnesota is currently posting the second highest amount of rainfall in recorded history, and that high water can be verified by those coping with the amounts of precipitation plaguing the Mille Lacs area.