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Water Summary Update: Despite dry November, drought conditions improve and stabilize

  • 12/9/2021 1:17:00 PM
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DES MOINES — After a very wet October, November was drier than normal, but conditions improved over the month. As the state enters winter, conditions have stabilized, according to the most recent Water Summary Update.  

Shallow groundwater conditions, as well as soil moisture, are showing improvement. Over meteorological autumn (September, October and November), precipitation was nearly normal.

“Although the state did not receive normal rainfall in November, the extra rain we did get in October along with November’s rainfall is enough to continue the trend of improvement,” said Tim Hall, Hydrology Resources Coordinator for the Iowa DNR. “There is still time for December rainfall to soak into the ground before widespread soil freezing, and anything we get will improve conditions for the start of the 2022 spring season.”

Statewide average precipitation in November was 0.92 inches, or about half of what is normally expected. Statewide average snowfall was just 0.1 inches, well below the average of 2.6 inches. 

Streamflow and soil moisture conditions to show improvement, which is a good indicator of potential conditions for the spring of 2022.  

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.