(Undated) -- Recent rains provided some, but not much relief to dry areas in the state of Iowa. The U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows slight improvement in the most dry areas of northwest Iowa but little change elsewhere after rain in recent days. Nearly all of Iowa (66.9%) is either abnormally dry or in some form of drought. Most of Plymouth County and part of Cherokee County are in extreme drought. Most of southern Iowa is moderate to severe drought. There's a chance of showers and thunderstorms tonight (Thursday) in northwest Iowa. A thunderstorm watch is in effect until 9 p.m. for Monona, Plymouth, and Woodbury counties.
Similar to the South Region, rainfall in the Midwest was hit-and-miss last week. A mix of deterioration an improvement resulted, but dryness and drought remained considerably more widespread along the western tier of states in the Midwest Region. Improvement was indicated in relatively small, scattered areas across the region while deterioration was fairly common from central Illinois and Iowa northward through most of northwestern Wisconsin. Several bands of extreme drought (D2) persist in the western tier of the Region, with small areas of extreme drought (D3) affecting northwestern Iowa and southwestern Missouri. -US Drought Monitor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.