Even with all the rain & snow, Iowa soil moisture levels are still far too low

News, Weather

October 26th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Even with the recent rain and snow, much of Iowa’s still far short of precipitation for the year and we’re heading into the drier, colder seasons with little chance of replenishing soil moisture levels before spring. Meteorologist Dennis Todey, who heads the U-S-D-A’s Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, says wide areas of the state are still recovering from long-running drought conditions.

The snow and rain that fell in the past week helps to bring some short-term drought relief, but he says much more precipitation will be needed to recharge depleted soil moisture levels.

Todey says the expected weather patterns don’t look promising for significant rainfall or snowfall, noting, August of 2020 was the driest in Iowa in 148 years.

The latest drought monitor shows very dry conditions over all but extreme eastern Iowa.