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Water Summary Update: 35 percent of state classified as abnormally dry

  • 7/9/2020 1:40:00 PM
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DES MOINES — Although statewide precipitation was near normal in June, northeast Iowa experienced extra wet conditions while western parts of the state have entered moderate drought, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows abnormally dry conditions in about 35 percent of the state, with eight west-central counties classified as being in moderate drought.

Statewide precipitation averaged 4.85 inches in June, or 0.17 inches less than the 30-year climatological average. However, the state’s western half observed drier than normal conditions with precipitation deficits of up to four inches. On the other hand, much of eastern Iowa reported general rainfall totals from two to six inches above average, due in part to the remnants of Tropical Storm Cristobal, which moved through Iowa as a tropical depression on June 9. Cristobal is only the second tropical system on record to transverse Iowa, with the only other occurrence happening on September 11, 1900. 

"June saw low rainfall amounts in western Iowa and is causing concern about growing drought conditions. Unfortunately, the western part of Iowa tends to be where groundwater supplies are the most vulnerable, so we will be watching those areas carefully," said Tim Hall, DNR’s coordinator of hydrology resources.

Iowa experienced warmer than normal conditions statewide during June with an average temperature of 72.9 degrees, 3.2 degrees above normal. This ties June 2020 with 1954 and 2005 as the 18th warmest June on record. 

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.