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Water Summary Update: Rainy September removes all drought designations from the state

  • 10/10/2019 11:58:00 AM
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DES MOINES — Last month was the 15th wettest September on record for Iowa, removing all drought designations from the state, according to the latest Water Summary Update. 

"The drier summer months have been offset by a very wet September. These conditions mean that we are headed into winter in good shape from a groundwater perspective,” said Tim Hall, DNR’s coordinator of hydrology resources. 

While these conditions are good for the overall water supply as Iowa heads into the winter, continued saturated soils continue to make the state vulnerable to flooding conditions should fall rains become more pronounced.    

Statewide average rainfall totaled 6.17 inches, or 2.79 inches above normal, tying 1887 for the 15th wettest September on record. Precipitation totals for the month varied from 2.44 inches at Sheldon to nearly 14 inches in Dubuque.

Iowa temperatures averaged 68.2 degrees, or 5 degrees above normal, making this September the ninth warmest on record. The highest September temperature was recorded at 93 degrees throughout south central Iowa. Estherville reported the month’s lowest temperature of 41 degrees, only 2 degrees below average.

This edition of the Water Summary Update marks the 100th report since its inception in 2012, as the state was facing considerable drought. While 2012 was by far the worst drought conditions the state has experienced over the past seven years, there have been other stretches of localized dry conditions that have come and gone.  

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.