Iowa sees another week of expanding drought

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Another mostly rain-free week across Iowa means more drought.

The new National Drought Monitor Map now shows drought or near-drought conditions across the northern two-thirds of the state.

"We really haven't seen much rain in Iowa in the month of August. The northwest corner, south Iowa--there are places we've received a third of the rain we should have received in August," says Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hydrology Resources Coordinator Tim Hall.

The drought map shows moderate to severe drought now covering almost all of the northern half of Iowa, with an expansion of extreme drought in parts of Northern, North-Central, and Eastern Iowa.

"We saw no improvement this week--it's all degradation. Along the southeastern border of the drought--the southern edge of the drought--and back into Northern Iowa, every place where we had a change in drought situation it was worse." Hall says.

He says any rain that falls in Iowa between now and winter is replenishing for next year what didn't come this year.

"There's plenty of time to get moisture into the ground, but every month that goes by the average expected rainfall drops. So, we get drier and drier here until January," Hall says.

He says Iowa needs an inch to an inch-and-a-half of rain a week to start making up a more than year-long deficit.

This week's National Drought Monitor Map shows parts of far Western and Southern Iowa are still drought-free.

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