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Water Summary Update: November one of driest months on record

  • 12/7/2023 2:37:00 PM
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DES MOINES -- Preliminary numbers show November to be one of the driest months on record, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

November’s preliminary statewide average precipitation was only 0.38 inches, or 1.44 inches below normal. These dry conditions resulted in further degradation of the drought conditions in the southern half of the state, along with the current U.S. Drought Monitor designation of moderate to severe drought. 

“We had hoped that November would continue the wetter-than-normal conditions from October, but unfortunately just the opposite happened. A return to below normal rainfall is not what we needed,” said Tim Hall, the DNR’s Hydrology Resources Coordinator. “Some locations in the state received no rain at all in November, and there were no locations that came close to normal rainfall for the month. As we wind down the fall and head into the winter months we need normal to above normal rainfall. Once the ground freezes up, we have to wait for spring rains.”

October’s above-average rainfall had resulted in some improvement in drought conditions for most of the state. Despite this, precipitation for the year is still well below normal.

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

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.