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Drought in Iowa retreats slightly with rainfall


Drought in Iowa retreats slightly with rainfall

Sep 28, 2023 | 10:56 am ET
By Jared Strong
Drought in Iowa retreats slightly with rainfall
Exceptional drought is still affecting a pocket of east-central Iowa. (Courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor)

Widespread rainfall in the past week helped alleviate some of the worst drought conditions in Iowa, according to a Thursday report by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

A wide area of exceptional drought — the worst of four classifications — in far northeast Iowa was upgraded to extreme drought in the latest report. That area has had more than 2 inches of rain in the past week.

But there remains a pocket of the worst drought in Benton and Tama counties.

Extreme drought — the second-to-worst classification — still affects much of the northeast quadrant of the state.

The rains helped reverse a weekslong trend of drier conditions but didn’t result in significant improvements statewide. About 96% of the state is suffering from some measure of drought, and the state is still the driest it’s been in a decade.

Drought is projected to remain in most of Iowa through the end of the year but will become less severe, according to the Climate Prediction Center.