Drought conditions end after four years

U.S. Drought Monitor map showing drought conditions across Iowa as of June 4, 2024. IMAGE COURTESY OF IOWA DNR

DES MOINES – After four years of below normal rainfall and drought conditions, the State of Iowa has returned to normal hydrologic conditions, according to the latest Water Summary Update.

The last time Iowa was free from any drought designation by the U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) was June of 2020.

May’s preliminary statewide precipitation was 7.51 inches across the state, or 2.67 inches above normal. The increased rainfall has led to improved streamflow and soil moisture conditions across the state, with the spring months of March, April, and May ranking among the top ten wettest on record. May had an average statewide temperature of 50.7 degrees, just over two degrees above normal.

“The above normal rainfall in May was significant, and it helped to push drought conditions out of the state. Six of the last eight months have been wetter than normal, and that is exactly the trend we have been waiting to see,” said Tim Hall, the DNR’s Hydrology Resources Coordinator. “If we continue to see normal rainfall in the months ahead we will be in great shape this year, with soil moisture and streamflow returning to normal levels.”

June through August normally sees an increase in water demand, so having a recharged hydrologic system is important as the summer season begins.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, visit www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate.