Wetter-than-normal March helps ease Iowa drought conditions

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A wetter-than-normal month of March did a lot to ease drought conditions across the state of Iowa.

"We had 2.6 inches of rain, which is about half-an-inch more than normal. If we could dial that up for the next four or five months, we'd be in great shape" says Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hydrology Resources Coordinator Tim Hall.

He says despite all the rain in March, there's still a pocket of severe and extreme drought in Northwest Iowa.

"It has taken those areas a long time to dig themselves into that hole. We'll see it going away here, but it's not going to be a week or two weeks--it's going to take a month or two but we're certainly moving in the right direction," Hall says.

He says more weeks of above-normal rain during the wettest time of year should continue to ease drought conditions.

"April normally has a lot more rain than March, May has even more, and June more yet. If we can stay average or a little bit more than average through April, May, June and into July I think we'll be in really good condition," Hall says.

This week's National Drought Monitor Map shows nearly 60 percent of Iowa with no drought--the same as last week.

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