USDA Meteorologist Says Short Term Dryness Is ‘Exploding’ Across Midwest

Des Moines, Iowa — USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says abnormally dry conditions are likely to persist in Iowa through the summer.

The most recent USDA Drought Monitor indicates 57 percent of Iowa is either abnormally dry or is experiencing some level of drought.

In the last two weeks, an area of severe drought has crept into O’Brien County and areas to the south and east. Pockets of severe or extreme drought stretch through four northwest Iowa counties and three counties in southeast Iowa.

The definition of “exceptional” drought that’s happening in northwest and southeast Iowa is something that is experienced once every 20 to 50 years according to Rippey.

While Rippey is not expecting Iowa to have the kind of decades-long drought that California has experienced, 29 percent of Iowa was considered to be in a drought by last week.

The last major droughts to hit Iowa were in 1988 and 2012.