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A third of Iowa sees abnormally dry conditions

Iowa map (Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Iowa map (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

DES MOINES — Eastern Iowa has had lots of rain, but western Iowa, not so much.

Although statewide precipitation was near normal in June, state officials who compile the water summary update said Thursday. But, they noted, northeast Iowa experienced extra wet conditions, while western parts of the state have entered moderate drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows abnormally dry conditions in about 35 percent of Iowa, with eight west-central counties classified as being in moderate drought, officials said.

“June saw low rainfall amounts in western Iowa and is causing concern about growing drought conditions,” said Tim Hall, coordinator of hydrology resources for the state Department of Natural Resources.

“Unfortunately, the western part of Iowa tends to be where groundwater supplies are the most vulnerable, so we will be watching those areas carefully,”

Statewide precipitation averaged 4.85 inches in June, or 0.17 inch less than the 30-year climatological average.

However, the state’s western half was drier than normal, with precipitation deficits of up to 4 inches.

Much of Eastern Iowa reported general rainfall totals from 2 to 6 inches above average. That is due in part to the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal, which moved through Iowa as a tropical depression June 9. Cristobal is only the second tropical system on record to transverse Iowa, with the only other occurrence happening on Sept. 11, 1900.

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Iowa had warmer than normal conditions statewide during June with an average temperature of 72.9 degrees, 3.2 degrees below normal. The month tied with 1954 and 2005 as the 18th-warmest June on record.

Details of the Iowa report are available at iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate

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