Greater than three-fourths of Linn County is now engulfed in distinctive drought — probably the most extreme drought situation — in response to a Thursday U.S. Drought Monitor report.
That is the driest the county has been within the historical past of the U.S. Drought Monitor, which started in 2000. That is additionally the primary yr there was distinctive drought in Jap Iowa in any respect.
“There was a small bullseye round Tama County, and that has grown and prolonged into Linn County within the final three weeks,” mentioned Matt Wilson, a senior service hydrologist with the Nationwide Climate Service Quad Cities Bureau. He visited Linn County just lately, and famous, “It’s the worst drought in Jap Iowa that I’ve seen this yr.”
The typical temperature in Cedar Rapids all through September was 5 levels greater than the historic norm, in response to the Nationwide Climate Service Quad Cities bureau. The town obtained simply over an inch of rain that month — 2.33 inches lower than regular.
As of final week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report, all of Linn County was in excessive drought — the second most extreme rating.
Neighboring Benton County was half lined in distinctive drought final week. Now, distinctive drought blankets 99 p.c of the county.
The swath represents the one patch of outstanding drought in Iowa and the Midwest at massive. It at present makes up about 3 p.c of Iowa’s land. Distinctive drought has traditionally been contained to central and west Iowa — not Jap Iowa.
A few quarter of the state continues to be lined in extreme drought, stretching from the northeast nook all the way down to the southeast nook. Northeast Iowa, the place distinctive drought plagued farmers and ranchers final month, has improved. The remainder of the state is experiencing extreme or average drought or abnormally dry situations. None of Iowa is drought-free.
Solely time will inform how this yr’s drought situations will affect crop yields as harvest continues. As of Monday, 16 p.c of the state’s corn had been harvested, together with 24 p.c of the state’s soybeans.
Projections map regular probabilities of precipitation for Iowa all through the remainder of the yr. Whereas October could also be a bit hotter than regular, temperatures all through the remainder of the yr ought to hover round common.
“It ought to be a close to common fall going into early winter,” Wilson mentioned.
Brittney J. Miller is the Vitality & Setting Reporter for The Gazette and a corps member with Report for America, a nationwide service program that locations journalists in native newsrooms to report on under-covered points.
Feedback: (319) 398-8370; [email protected]