Iowa drought conditions ease slightly

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Drought conditions are easing in some parts of Iowa...

"There's a small area in Eastern Iowa where they improved the conditions by two drought classes. They went from D-1 (Moderate Drought) to no drought at all. That's the result of a significant rain event that occurred" says Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hydrology Resources Coordinator Tim Hall.

He says this week's National Drought Monitor Map doesn't reflect the rain that has fallen across much of Iowa for the last three days.

"Those rainfall quantities will be factored into the next drought monitor, so we would expect to see some continued improvement next week as the current rain events get factored in" Hall says.

He says the current week's National Drought Monitor Map doesn't reflect any rain that fell after 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

As for this weeks' rain across much of Iowa, Hall says it came in just the right way to help ease drought conditions.

"The way in which we received the rain here recently--more slowly over a longer period of time-- allows the soil enough time to absorb that water" Hall says.

He says parts of Western, West Central, and Central Iowa in extreme drought got some much needed rain this week--which should show up as improved conditions in next week's Drought Monitor Map.

Those same 20 counties are still listed as all or part of extreme drought conditions this week.

The National Drought Monitor Map shows 95 percent of Iowa in some sort of drought condition. Last week it was nearly 100 percent of the state.

Image from the National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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