DES MOINES, Iowa – Despite historic levels of precipitation, parts of Iowa are now heading toward drought.
The latest Water Summary Update from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has about 36 percent of the state rated as abnormally dry.
"It seems surprising that after the wet winter and spring that we would be thinking about drought conditions, but recent dryness has pushed parts of the state in that direction," says Tim Hall, DNR’s coordinator of hydrology resources. "So far, streamflow and shallow groundwater are at normal levels, but we will continue to monitor those conditions."
The DNR says June and July rainfall was 2.3 inches below normal. Even with that, the past 12 months were the fourth wettest on record.
In addition, Cresco in Howard County reported the low temperature for the month of 48 degrees on July 31. That was 11 degrees below average.
The Water Summary Update is prepared by technical staff from Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.