The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has released the latest version of its Water Summary, a look at drought conditions, precipitation values, and stream flows. Officials say rainfall during the month of October was slightly above normal, at 2.79 inches, as compared to normal October precipitation of 2.61 inches. However, more months of consistently above normal rainfall are needed to reduce drought conditions before the 2014 growing season.
The most significant groundwater concerns are in a band through the middle of the state with the driest areas in Boone, Calhoun and Webster counties. The lowest streamflow conditions are in the Skunk and Chariton River watersheds. With the exception of a swath of area stretching southeastward from Carroll through Guthrie, Madison, the eastern half of Adair and Union Counties, most streams in the KJAN listening area are at normal flow, according to the DNR.
Precipitation across southwest Iowa was at or above normal for the month, with the exception of a few counties to the south of Cass, where it was 50-to 75-percent below normal. Here in Atlantic, we received 3.95-inches for the month of October, which was well above the normal 2.76-inches.
The latest Drought Monitor from the National Drought Mitigation Center shows with the exception of central and western Pottawattamie County, most counties in the KJAN listening area either still abnormally dry, or in a moderate drought. In Atlantic, we’re still about 5-inches shy of normal precipitation for the year-to-date. Shallow groundwater across the area is at or near seasonal lows.
For graphical maps of the drought situation, surf to http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/geology/10.31.13%20WSU2.pdf