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Heavy rains improve drought in southeast Iowa

By: - September 23, 2022 11:08 am

Heavy rainfall helped alleviate some dryness in southeast Iowa last week. (Courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor)

Heavy weekend rains have helped alleviate “extreme” drought conditions in southeast Iowa.

The heaviest rainfall last week was in southern Iowa. (Midwest Regional Climate Center map courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Last week, multiple counties in the area were suffering from extreme drought — the second-to-worst dryness condition in ratings by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Drought conditions were upgraded to “severe” in the Drought Monitor’s most-recent report on Thursday, leaving no “extreme” ratings in the southeast part of the state.

Up to 4.2 inches of rain fell in southern Iowa last week, the state climatologist reported on Monday.

The heavy rainfall missed much of northern Iowa, where a pocket of extreme drought has persisted in the northwest near Sioux City. There is also a sliver of “exceptional” drought in Woodbury County, the worst dryness classification.

Large areas of northeastern and southwestern Nebraska have the “exceptional” designation, and the vast majority of the state has some degree of drought.

About 42% of Iowa has a drought designation. There has been plenty of rain in northeast Iowa.

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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.