State climatologist Justin Glisan says 15 counties are now in what’s considered severe drought. “Over the last 30 to 45 days, we’ve seen a dwindling rainfall, especially across west-central Iowa,” Glisan says. “If we go back four to six months, we actually see precipitation deficits in the range of eight to 12 inches, so we’ve been dry, especially across western Iowa.”
Glisan says he’s constantly asked about when and if any significant rainfall is coming to Iowa. “The forecast models just have been off for some reason,” Glisan says. “When we expect rain out of Nebraska, it comes toward western Iowa and you can watch it on radar, it just sort of vanishes. Because of those dry conditions, there’s not enough moisture at the surface to really pop those storms up.”
Glisan says he remains hopeful the situation may change soon. “If we look at our outlooks moving into next week, it looks like we’re starting to turn down the temperature dial,” he says, “and along with that, we’re trending towards near-normal rainfall moving into the first of August.”
A very hot weekend is ahead but the forecast calls for the chance of rain Sunday night, moving into Monday. Severe drought is shown in part or all of these 15 counties: Adair, Audubon, Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Dallas, Greene, Guthrie, Madison, Polk, Sac, Shelby, Story and Webster.
(Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City contributed to this report.)