The majority of northeast Iowa remains in “extreme drought”, while the area of extreme drought stretched farther into southern Iowa amid an overall lack of rainfall across the state, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.
Based on precipitation through 7 am Tuesday, November 14, all of Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Howard, Fayette, Floyd, and Mitchell counties are still rated in the D3/extreme drought category.
More than three-quarters of Butler, Cerro Gordo and Winneshiek counties, almost two-thirds of Franklin County, about half of Worth and Clayton counties, and a third of Grundy County also remain in extreme drought.
Varying degrees of drought are affecting about 83% of the state, and extreme drought — the second-to-worst classification issued by the Drought Monitor — expanded in southeast Iowa and recently crept into south-central Iowa.
The new assessment, issued Thursday (11.16), follows a week of almost no precipitation in the state, according to the USDA. A small portion of far eastern Iowa had rainfall that totaled about a tenth of an inch. The vast majority of the state had none.
As of Sunday (11.12), about 42% of the state’s topsoil and 31% of its subsoil had adequate or surplus moisture for growing crops, the USDA reported. That is down several percentage points from a year ago.
The current drought conditions are expected to persist in most of Iowa throughout the winter, according to a new report by the federal Climate Prediction Center.