As Eastern Iowa stares down a weekend where temperatures will again hit the mid-90s with no rain in sight, more than 2 million Iowans are now living in drought-affected conditions.

Summer is nearly over and Fall is right around the corner. Perhaps the change in seasons will bring some much-needed rain to the state. We Are Iowa reports that Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor report shows expanding extreme drought conditions for folks living in Northeast Iowa. Cities in extreme drought conditions now include Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Waterloo, and Mason City.

U.S. Drought Monitor
U.S. Drought Monitor
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We Are Iowa reports that around 18% of the state is experiencing extreme drought conditions, up more than 12% since last week's report. More than 50% of Iowa has at least severe drought conditions. There simply hasn't been enough rain during the month of August. We Are Iowa reports that the Des Moines airport recorded just 2.4 inches of rain this month. For the year, Des Moines has only measured 18.8 inches of precipitation. The city averages nearly 27 inches heading into the month of September.

Erika Fletcher, Unsplash
Erika Fletcher, Unsplash
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The drought conditions will no doubt hurt Iowa farmers and yields this fall. Another fall staple in Iowa, apple orchards, are also feeling the heat. KCCI reports that the owner of Allen's Orchard in Marion says that his trees are struggling from the excessive heat and a lack of water. Even a new irrigation system hasn't been enough. KCCI reports that this year's apples might not be as big and could even taste different.

So will September bring some much-needed relief? Unfortunately, the Climate Prediction Center says that below-average precipitation is forecast for September with the first two weeks continuing to look bone dry.

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