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Drought conditions worsen in southern Iowa

By: - August 11, 2022 10:42 am

Drought has further gripped southern Iowa, where there is now widespread severe drought. (Graphic by U.S. Drought Monitor)

The dryness of southern Iowa continues to expand with little chance for rain in the next 10 days.

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s report on Thursday shows that moderate drought now stretches entirely from the state’s western border to its eastern border and that severe drought has gripped central portions of that area.

Less than a third of southern Iowa has sufficient moisture for crops, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report, a reversal from June when nearly all of that region’s topsoil and subsoil had adequate or surplus moisture.

And there’s little rainfall expected for the area in the next week.

“Unfortunately, it looks like, for the most part, the northeast half of the state is looking to have the best chances for rain over the next 10 days,” said Rod Donavon, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “It’s possible we could get some storms across some of those drought regions, but the overall chances for heavier rainfall is low.”

The worst dryness is still in northwest Iowa near Sioux City, but that area’s pocket of extreme drought rescinded slightly in the past week, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Overall, the state is drier than it’s been since March, which preceded a wet April that soaked much of the state.

The drought has led to a decline of crop conditions during a crucial period of development.

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Jared Strong
Jared Strong

Senior reporter Jared Strong has written about Iowans and the important issues that affect them for more than 15 years, previously for the Carroll Times Herald and the Des Moines Register. His investigative work exposing police misconduct has notched several state and national awards. He is a longtime trustee of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council, which fights for open records and open government. He is a lifelong Iowan and has lived mostly in rural western parts of the state.