Pella Chronicle

January 10, 2013

Iowa drought remains unchanged


OTTUMWA — The U.S. Drought Monitor's assessment of Iowa was unchanged this week, but that will likely change next week.

Southern Iowa in particular could see shifts with rain expected today and tonight. The area isn't expected to see huge amounts of rain (the upper end of the forecast calls for a half-inch) but any is welcome in what has been a dry winter.

Official records show no measurable precipitation in the Ottumwa area since December 20.

The entire state remains in at least the moderate drought category. Northwestern Iowa tends to be the hardest hit, with a small part of the state in exceptional drought. Conditions ease as you move south and east.

Iowa's static conditions are mirrored in the wider Midwest, where there were only minor shifts. National conditions are similarly unchanged.

The drought that began in 2012 continues to have a solid grip on the central part of the country. South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma all have significant parts of the state in the exceptional drought category, with lesser parts of Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming also affected.

Drought in the southeastern U.S. is also reasserting itself, with parts of central Georgia in the exceptional category.