January 28, 2015

32% of state now in severe drought conditions

Last week was the hottest week in Iowa this year and it’s resulted in worsening drought conditions. The U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report issued today shows a large area of central and southern Iowa in severe drought.

Iowa State University Climatologist Elywnn Taylor says that stage is where the lack of moisture is showing crop and environmental effects and he isn’t optimistic conditions improving anytime soon.

“The biggest likelihood right now is to continue on the dry side of usual,” Taylor says. “That will bring some real concern for community water supplies, as well as concern for the crop in the next year.” The drought isn’t quite as severe in northern Iowa where persistent and heavy spring rains prevented crops from being planted. However, even northern Iowa is classified as “abnormally dry.”

Overall, the U.S. Drought Monitor has 32-percent of the state in severe drought, up from 22.4-percent a week ago.