Extreme drought comes back to Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Extreme drought conditions are showing up again in Iowa.

This week's National Drought Monitor Map shows worsening drought in 10 counties in Northeast and East Central Iowa, as well as four counties in Northwest Iowa.

"There are some very long-standing, significant rainfall deficits that go back to the beginning of the year--six, seven, eight, nine inches short of rainfall. Parts of the state have been blessed with moisture, and those parts have not," says Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hydrology Resources Coordinator Tim Hall.

This week's map now shows 75 percent of the state in drought or near-drought conditions--up a bit from last week.

All of Southern and Southeast Iowa are still drought-free--as they've been for weeks.

"Missouri, Illinois, Indiana--they've had more than normal rainfall for the year. We're kind of sitting in the area that's transitioning from really dry to the north and west of us, to really wet in the south and east," Hall says.

He says Iowa's rainfall in July was just a bit below average for the month, but was a kind of hit-and-miss as to where it fell.

"North-Central and Central Iowa in the month of July were about 70 percent of normal. On average, the state did pretty well. There are just some areas that missed out on the rain, and those are the places where we're starting to see increased drought," Hall says.

The National Weather Service says the entire state of Iowa could see some rain Saturday, with forecast totals anywhere from a half-inch to an inch-and-a-half.

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