Extreme drought returns to Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Two weeks with little to no rain's pushing extreme drought conditions back into Western Iowa.

"When it's already dry, and you're building off of a pretty dry August and September, then you have another week or two with no rain--that can push the drought monitor up a category" says Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hydrology Coordinator Tim Hall.

He says this week's National Drought Monitor shows nine counties in the far northwest corner of Iowa now in extreme drought, and nearly 70 percent of Iowa under some amount of drought.

"If we got half-an-inch of rain a week, that would put at normal for rainfall at this time of year. We'd still be behind for the year, but it would start to replenish the soil profile and make conditions better for the spring" Hall says.

Hall says it's not too late to start reversing drought conditions in Iowa.

"We can have cold nights and warm days, and even wet snowfall. As long as the ground's not frozen down deep, we can get water moving into the soil profile and into the groundwater" he says.

He says rain in Eastern Iowa a couple of weeks ago is still holding off drought conditions there.

Nearly the entire eastern third of the state is drought-free.

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

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