October rainfall averaged over 3.1 inches across the state. This was more than one-half inch above normal and the highest monthly total since May. However the state is still 8.2 inches below normal for the state as a whole.
Some parts of north central and southeast Iowa are more than 20 inches short of rainfall since the drought began in 2011.
Water levels in lakes, ponds and rivers have rebounded slightly in some areas, but not enough to improve conditions for winter survival of amphibians and fish. On the other hand, drought conditions have some positive effects for natural lakes and wetlands. A sustained dry period through next spring could allow aquatic plants to germinate in many areas, improving water quality and habitat when the water returns.
For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends Oct. 4 through Oct. 31, go to http://www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate.
The report is prepared by the technical staff from the Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the USGS, in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.
For more information contact Tim Hall, (515) 281-8169, Tim.Hall@dnr.iowa.gov