December, January, and February were the fourth wettest on record
This month’s Water Summary Update introduces the use of the 2023 Iowa Drought Plan (IDP). Of the States’ five drought regions, only northwest Iowa is currently shown in Drought Watch, while the balance of the state is considered normal. February marked the fourth month in a row of above normal precipitation, and the winter months of December, January, and February were the fourth wettest on record. Precipitation for the month was 2.04 inches, 0.87 inches above normal, making the month the 7th wettest February on record for Iowa. Streamflow conditions increased across the majority of the state from normal to above normal conditions, with soil moisture levels also showing improvement. “The winter months of December, January, and February were well above normal, providing well over 5 inches of moisture across the state. This is just what we needed for drought improvement in Iowa,” said Tim Hall, Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ coordinator of hydrology resources. “As we begin to use the new Iowa Drought Plan, only northwest Iowa is an area of ‘Drought Watch’ for the state, which is good news.” For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate. The report is prepared by technical staff from Iowa DNR, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, and the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department.