Drought Expands in Iowa and the Far Eastern Corn Belt

Posted on Thu, 07/30/2020 - 11:01

Today’s National Drought Monitor Summary reports “bands of heavy showers and thunderstorms moved along the frontal boundary, bringing 2 or more inches of rain locally in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Ohio Valley. But soils continued to dry out where it didn’t rain, especially from parts of Iowa to Lower Michigan.”

Today’s drought monitor shows 63% of Iowa is now covered by abnormal drought or dryness, roughly a nine-point increase from last week, with more of that drought (13%) now classified as severe (D2). Western areas of the state are the hardest hit, while eastern portions of the state remain largely drought free.

The other area of concern in the far eastern Corn Belt, with 67% of Indiana and 85% of Ohio covered by some form of abnormal dryness (D0) or moderate drought. On the other hand, recent rains have eased dryness in Illinois. Just 6% of the state is dealing with abnormal dryness/drought.

Today’s update shows rain also eased drought conditions across the Plains over the past week. Of particular note, Kansas saw nearly a 17-point slide in drought coverage, with just 43% of the state now impacted by abnormal dryness/drought.

The situation is quite different in neighboring Colorado, where 99% of the state is covered by dryness/drought, 59% of which is classified as severe (D2) or extreme (D3).

Today’s Drought Monitor Summary notes that “on July 27, 50% or more of the topsoil moisture was short or very short (dry or very dry) in states across the Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, southern Plains, southern to central Rockies, and Far West.”

Drought monitor

Drought change map