Iowa Sees Slight Easing of Drought Conditions

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Last weekend's rain is helping ease drought conditions across Iowa.

The new National Drought Monitor Map shows extreme drought in Southeast Iowa has been replaced by areas of moderate and severe drought.

"We're sort of on the edge--in one week, out the next. It's that time of the year when the growing season winds down and the demand on water from vegetation begins to ease up," says Iowa Department of Natural Resources Hydrology Resources Coordinator Tim Hall.

While about 70 percent of Iowa is still abnormally dry or in drought right now, he says any rain that falls now actually benefits next spring.

"Right now the vegetation is what it is, the crops are what they are. Rain that we get now, especially when the ground freezes up, will do wonders to help us to increase soil moisture," he says.

Hall says he's really hoping for a repeat of last year when it comes to easing drought.

"Last year, the month of October was, I think the eighth wettest on record. It saved the water year--starting off with a significant chunk of rain in October of last year," he says.

The new National Drought Monitor Map shows Northeast and Eastern Iowa--about 30 percent of state-- are the only places that are drought-free.

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

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