This past February was the second warmest in Iowa on record. The warm start to the year is prompting vegetation to come out of dormancy sooner than usual and could intensify the dry conditions across south central and southeast Iowa due to early evapotranspiration.
Hydrologic conditions and drought have remained the same throughout the winter months in Iowa. The pattern of wetness in northern Iowa and the dryness in the southern half has changed very little throughout the winter.
Precipitation for Iowa varied across the state. The wettest area of the state is far northern Iowa, receiving double the normal amounts for January and February, while the southeast one-third of the state remains dry.
Stream flow conditions are above normal across the majority of the state, except in parts of southern Iowa, which have decreased to normal levels.
For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate.