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Water Summary Update: Drier February improves stream levels across Iowa

  • 3/5/2020 2:17:00 PM
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DES MOINES — With a drier February, stream levels have improved across much of the state, according to the latest Water Summary Update. 

"The recent drier than normal conditions are welcome statewide," said Tim Hall, DNR’s coordinator of hydrology resources. “The winter was drier and warmer than normal, and hydrologic conditions are in good shape. However, the chance of flooding remains elevated on both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.”

The winter months of December, January and February had a total precipitation of about 3 inches, which is 0.33 inches less than normal. In February, the statewide average precipitation totaled 0.43 inches, or 0.62 inches below normal. Almost all reporting stations across Iowa observed below average precipitation, with the driest areas across the southern quarter of Iowa.

Much of Iowa experienced below normal snowfall with the preliminary average statewide total of 3.3 inches, or about half the average February snowfall.

Streamflow conditions in the majority of the state have decreased over the last month. Flows that were much above normal condition have dropped to normal condition. There are a few areas where flows remain high, including the Little Sioux, Boyer, Floyd and Missouri rivers.

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.