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Water Summary Update: Statewide drought conditions improve with January snowfall

  • 2/9/2024 10:36:00 AM
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DES MOINES -- January’s above-normal snowfall has improved drought conditions across the state, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

January saw 1.97 inches of precipitation, more than twice the normal amount for the month. The state has received above-average precipitation in three of the last four months. Since October 2023 statewide precipitation has been 7.24 inches, or 106 percent of normal.

At the end of January, Iowa’s Drought Plan is showing improvement and stabilization of drought conditions across much of the state. Northwest and north central Iowa show normal conditions, while the rest of the state carries drought watch designations. Areas of the state under drought warning at the end of December have had those designations removed.  

“January’s double normal moisture has really helped to improve drought conditions across most of Iowa,” said Tim Hall, the DNR’s Hydrology Resources Coordinator. “The wet October, December, and now January is a very encouraging trend. In addition, the lack of deeply frozen soil has helped melted snow water to soak into the ground, and as a result, we have seen almost no flooding conditions. We are heading in the right direction to improve conditions as we move into spring.”

The state typically sees increased precipitation, whether rain or snow, during the late winter and spring months. Normal to above-normal rainfall amounts will likely help improve drought conditions in the state. 

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.