Growing area of Extreme Drought in Iowa


DES MOINES, Iowa - Parts of Southwest and West Central Iowa are now in extreme drought.

"We're kind of in that area where we wouldn't expect to see this but every 25 to 30 years or so" says Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hydrology Resources Coordinator Tim Hall.

He says those 10 counties in extreme drought need a lot of rain just to get back where they should be at this time of year.

"That part of the state is in a precipitation hole. To remedy the situation, they've got to back-fill the rain they haven't gotten, and then keep up with what they're supposed to get" Hall says.

It's not just Western and Central Iowa that are unusually dry. He says, right now, most of the state needs some rain.

"We're settling into some drier weather patterns statewide. Eight percent of the state is now in some form of abnormally dry or drought condition" Hall says.

He says that's a big change from earlier this summer, when Western Iowa was abnormally dry, while Eastern Iowa had surplus moisture.

Hall says while there's still adequate subsoil moisture to sustain crops in the field, there's growing concern for towns that use rivers as sources of drinking water.

As the drought persists, he says those streams are starting to dry up.

Also, Hall says Iowa is moving out of what is typically the wettest time of the year when there's usually an inch of rain or more every week.

Map released: Thurs. August 6, 2020 By the National Drought Mitigation Center.

MAP KEY

White = No Drought

Yellow = Abnormally Dry

Tan = Moderate Drought

Orange = Severe Drought

Red = Extreme Drought

Purple = Exceptional Drought