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Water Summary Update: Iowa received 6 more inches of rain than usual in 2019

  • 1/9/2020 12:37:00 PM
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DES MOINES — With 41.5 inches of rain falling across Iowa last year, 2019 is now the 12th wettest year on record in the state, according to the latest Water Summary Update. 

"2019 was a very wet year, but so was 2018. The last two years combined were the wettest two years on record for the state," said Tim Hall, DNR’s coordinator of hydrology resources. “These conditions have resulted in higher than normal streamflows, and good shallow groundwater conditions going into the winter months.” 

As a result of the prolonged period of higher than normal precipitation both in Iowa and throughout the upper Midwest, river and streamflows in Iowa were above normal for the entire year. Significant and long-term flooding has been experienced on both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in 2019, and interior streams have experienced above normal flows for much of the year. 

Eight months of 2019 had below-average temperatures. The coldest temperatures of the year were reported near sunrise on Jan. 30 with temperatures ranging from -20s in southern Iowa to -30s in northern Iowa.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to

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.