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Water Summary Update: 2016 Water Year much wetter than normal

  • 10/11/2016 9:16:00 AM
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DES MOINES— The 2016 Water Year (ending September 30, 2016) brought a statewide average precipitation of almost 45 inches, 9.6 inches more than normal. This ranks as the third wettest water year among 144 years of record.

Excessive rains in September over north-central and northeast Iowa resulted in flooding and a record crest along the shell Rock River and the second highest crest on record along the Cedar River.

September rain totals varied from 0.90 inches at Fairfield to 17.25 inches near Nora Springs. The statewide average was 6.29 inches or 2.91 inches above normal to rank as the wettest September since 1986.

Streamflow conditions remain high for nearly the entire state, and other than a small area of dryness in Southeast Iowa, conditions are fairly wet heading into the usually dry fall and winter months.

Precipitation was below normal in southeastern Iowa and Charles City had the highest water year precipitation total with more than 60 inches. This was easily a record high water year total at that location.

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