Northwest Iowa Has Drier July & August Than Remainder Of State

Date posted - September 2, 2016

DNR logoSheldon, Iowa — According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, July and August have easily been the two wettest months of 2016, and have continued to improve the overall hydrologic condition of the state. The National Drought Monitor has removed areas of moderate drought from Iowa, and less than 6 percent of the state is shown as “abnormally dry” – continuing the improvement that been occurring over the last several weeks.

Precipitation records for Sheldon tell a slightly different story, however, with April and May being the two wettest months so far this year, here in northwest Iowa.  We received 4.35″ of rain in April, and 6.21″ in May.  4.0″ fell in June in Sheldon, with July and August seeing 3.47″ and 2.22″, respectively.

The northeast and northwest corners of the state experienced very different conditions over the past two weeks. Decorah received nearly a foot of rain, while counties here in the northwest corner of the state received less than half the normal rainfall for the period.

The DNR says most of Iowa recorded above normal precipitation over the two weeks ending 7 a.m. Aug. 30. The major event of the period was the heavy rains and flooding across far northeast Iowa on the night of Aug. 23. Rain totals reached 8.46 inches five miles southeast of Decorah during this event. Rain totals for the two-week period varied from 0.28 inches at Akron to 11.51 inches southeast of Decorah. The statewide average precipitation was 2.65 inches, while normal for the period is 1.85 inches.  Here in Sheldon, we measured just .72″ during that same period.

According to the DNR Report, streamflow conditions remain above normal for most of the state. Streams in the northeast, east and southeast portions of the state have moved into much above normal, or even high conditions. The previous peak of record was surpassed at the Upper Iowa River near Dorchester, and at the Turkey River at Spillville.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, click here.

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