The Iowa Drought Monitor now rates the entire state as either abnormally dry or in some level of drought.
At this time last year, three-fourths of the state was abnormally dry. Dennis Todey, director of the Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, says relief isn’t likely any time soon, especially considering that we’re entering a climatologically drier time of year.
Over seven-percent of Iowa is experiencing Extreme Drought, all of which is in northwest Iowa. Almost all of Buena Vista, Cherokee, and Pocahontas Counties are now in Extreme Drought, with portions of Clay, O’Brien, and Palo Alto also affected. A small portion of Woodbury County is in Exceptional Drought – the most severe classification. More than half of the state is classified under moderate drought.
Todey says that these conditions come with fire risks, and he encourages people to careful with their combines, or in fields or dry grasses.
It’s been nine years since drought conditions were this severe in Iowa.
(thanks to Radio Iowa for contributing)