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Stream flows remain high, ground water conditions good heading into Iowa’s driest season

DES MOINES— October was the first month since June for below normal rainfall. Despite the drier month, stream flows remain high, and groundwater conditions are predominantly good. Iowa heads now into the driest and most hydrologically stable four months of the year.

Statewide average precipitation during October was about 0.6 inches less than normal. Unlike the previous four months, there were no widespread excessive rain events in Iowa. North central and northeast Iowa, which had seen exceptionally heavy rains in the previous two months, finally received a very welcome period of mostly dry.

This was the warmest October since 2007 with temperatures averaging 4.5 degrees above normal. While a hard freeze on October 13 ended the growing season for much of the northwest there remain some areas including the Des Moines metro area, where a freeze has yet to occur.

Streamflow conditions are above normal for the majority of the state. Since the last water summary update, streamflow conditions across the south central portion of the state decreased to the normal condition.

The area of the state that is rated as D0, or “Abnormally Dry” continues to persist in south-central Iowa. The condition of the state is much better than it was a year ago, and remains positive headed into the driest months of the year.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, read the complete summary.

The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department and the National Weather Service.

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