US drought monitor reintroduces D3 drought to Northwest Iowa

Photo courtesy of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)

The most recent US drought monitor included an increase in the severity of droughts in parts of Iowa. This includes the introduction of D3-level drought in the northwest part of the state, which has not happened since August of last year. Iowa State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan provided a breakdown of this week’s chart.

There’s also been a pretty good amount of variability in the drought conditions across the state. Some parts of the state have received heavy storms, but they did not need to get several inches of rain. Conversely, other parts of the state have been sorely missing those rain showers. dr. Glisan said the lack of severe weather has contributed to an overall lack of rain across most of the state.

We were mostly concerned with the delayed planting this year, but there may be a hidden benefit to it after all. dr. Glisan said this pushes pollination later into July, where there is a signal for cooler temperatures and more frequent rainfall.

Of course, it’s a little unnerving to have to rely on thunderstorms for significant rainfall. Severe storms that bring wind and hail damage can do a lot more harm than good. Fortunately, Dr. Glisan said the cores of these forecasted storms should be pretty isolated.

As we enter the warmest two months of the year, we want to see those rains come through so the crops can better handle the temperatures. dr. Glisan provided some advice for Iowa farmers.

dr. Glisan said there’s plenty of information on the Iowa Climatology Bureau’s website, but he’s more than willing to chat if producers have any further questions.

You can find more information from the Iowa Climatology Bureau by clicking here.

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