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Water Summary Update: Warm May sets Iowa records

DES MOINES — The coldest Iowa April on record was followed by the third warmest May, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

Temperatures across the state ranged from 4 degrees above normal across the northern two-thirds to 8 to 10 degrees above normal in the southern third. Statewide average temperature was 7 degrees above normal, at 67 degrees.

May rainfall was about normal for most of the state. However, northern Iowa was wetter than normal, while southern Iowa continued its pattern of being drier than normal.

“The area of moderate drought in southern Iowa is persistent, and shows up in in the lower streamflow, lower groundwater, as well as in the Drought Monitor. Soil moisture is also low in that part of the state. June is our wettest month, and if we get normal rainfall for the month, conditions should improve," said Tim Hall, Hydrology Resources Coordinator for the Iowa DNR. 

Iowa had an average of 4.67 inches of rainfall in May; statewide precipitation typically averages around 4.5 inches.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate

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

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