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Below normal July rainfall has part of Iowa headed toward drought conditions

This news story was published on August 12, 2019.
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Iowa storm

DES MOINES — A second consecutive month of below normal precipitation has about 36 percent of the state rated as abnormally dry, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

“It seems surprising that after the wet winter and spring that we would be thinking about drought conditions, but recent dryness has pushed parts of the state in that direction,” said Tim Hall, DNR’s coordinator of hydrology resources. “So far, streamflow and shallow groundwater are at normal levels, but we will continue to monitor those conditions.”

July averaged 3.35 inches of rainfall around the state, which is 1.15 inches less than normal. June and July together were 2.3 inches below normal for rainfall. Despite this recent dry weather, the previous 12 months were the fourth wettest on record.

Iowa temperatures averaged 75.1 degrees, or 1.5 degrees above normal, ranking this as the 51st warmest July. The month’s high temperature of 99 degrees was reported on July 19 in Little Sioux in Harrison County, which was 13 degrees above average for that date. Cresco in Howard County reported the month’s low temperature of 48 degrees on July 31, 11 degrees below average.

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