DES MOINES—November brought only a little relief for needed moisture. Average precipitation for the state was below the historical normal amount: 1.6 inches compared to 2 inches.
The small area of Iowa rated in extreme drought in October has been upgraded to severe drought. Twenty percent of Iowa is now considered in severe drought, compared to 35 percent at the start of November. Dry is the norm for the rest of the state.
The unseasonably cold weather froze soils over much of Iowa in late November. While soils thawed in some areas during the first day or two in December, the return of cold weather is hitting Iowa earlier than it did in 2012. Smaller streams are affected by the frozen ground. The DNR will continue to monitor stream trends through the end of the year because of the dry situation.
For a more thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends Nov. 1 – 30, 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 U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.