In November, drought in Iowa peaked before entering one of the state’s wettest winters.

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In August, Iowa started facing dryer and dryer conditions. By early November, around 89 percent of the state was in some sort of drought measure with the northwest portion being the driest. This week, the drought monitor showed that about 32 percent of the state is still under some drought measures.

State Climatologist Justin Glisan told Iowa Capital Dispatch that this metrological winter  (December- February), is the fourth wettest on record going back 151 years.

In the last three months, Iowa averaged more than 5.5 inches pr precipitation across the state. This much-needed precipitation helped combat the state’s worsening drought.

As of the March 9th drought monitor, Iowa, and Minnesota is the most impacted states in the Midwest. Michigan also has a handful of counties impacted by the drought.

US Drought Monitor
US Drought Monitor

As we head into springtime again, it’s important to stay ahead of drying conditions. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has finalized a new drought plan for the state, Tim Hall, DNR hydrology coordinator says this resource is good for state county, and local use.

The drought plan also provides schedules and structure for having discussions and meetings and providing information to local decision-makers during times of drought. So, we think it’s going to be a good tool to both prepare for and respond to drought conditions.

The plan divides the state into five regions and provides information on the drought status. The plan can be tweaked as needed over the next year.

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