Past IEM Features tagged: drought

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Increasing D1 Drought

14 Jul 2017 05:35 AM
While yesterday's IEM Daily Feature discussed flooding rains in one part of the state, today's feature discusses the worsening drought situation for other parts of the state. The featured chart displays the weekly coverage of analyzed US Drought Monitor condition in the state since June 2016. The D1 (Moderate Drought) category was expanded over the state this week. The current near term forecast is not very optimistic for needed rains over the dry areas of the state.

Good: 12
Bad: 0
Abstain: 1

Tags:   drought  

Worsening Drought

24 Jun 2016 05:34 AM
The latest US Drought Monitor was released on Thursday and it depicts a worsening drought situation in Iowa. D1 "moderate" drought classification was introduced over a tenth of the state this week. The featured chart displays the weekly areal coverage of analyzed drought in the state since 1 Jan 2015. This is the most D1 classification coverage we have seen since then. The most recent drought monitor update was prior to some rains this week, but some of the driest parts of the state missed out on these.

Good: 15
Bad: 0

Tags:   drought  

Drought Timeseries

20 Mar 2015 05:41 AM
A very dry March and below average snowfall over the north has prompted the US Drought Monitor to analyze parts of Iowa in D0 drought designation. The featured chart displays the areal coverage of drought in Iowa going back to 2000. Drought categories increase up to D4, which was found in Iowa back in 2012. With no crops in the ground and today being only the first day of spring, the drought impacts are currently limited to hydrological issues like stream flow.

Good: 37
Bad: 8
Abstain: 10

Tags:   drought  

click image for view back to 2000

Drought Changes

10 Jul 2014 05:40 AM
The wet month of June has mostly eliminated the drought situation in Iowa as analyzed by the US Drought Monitor. This monitor product is updated weekly by a national team of experts and depicts various intensities in drought. The featured chart looks at the weekly changes in this analysis with blue lines being improvements and red lines are degradation. It will be interesting to see if this July/August follows the previous three years with drought quickly developing after the heavy rainfalls of spring and early summer subside. The length of the arrows indicate a relative intensity change with the unit value being an equivalent one category change over the area the size of Iowa.

Good: 10
Bad: 2
Abstain: 4

Tags:   drought  

Drought Hole

13 Sep 2013 05:44 AM
The United States Drought Monitor is a hand drawn analysis of weekly drought condition in the country based on quantitative and qualitative measures of drought. The featured map shows the most recent analysis valid on the 10th. The entire state except about two counties is shown in some level of drought condition. The plotted numbers are IEM computed counts of the number of recent periods having a precipitation departure of at least negative 1.2 standard deviations from average. Four periods are shown covering the recent 30, 60, 90, and 120 days. So if a location has a four plotted, each of those periods has a precipitation departure worse than negative 1.2 sigma. The negative 1.2 level is about when "D2" drought is to be analyzed. The numbers show the most consistently dry areas of the state are from central to southeastern Iowa. Northeastern and extreme western Iowa have not been as dry.

Good: 202
Bad: 29

Tags:   2013   drought  

Drought creeps back

26 Jul 2013 05:36 AM
The precipitation gains made this spring to practically eliminate the drought condition in the state are being lost thanks to a dry June and July. The featured chart shows the percentage of the state covered by analyzed drought condition from the National Drought Monitor. The most recent update to this analysis has over 50% of the state now covered by abnormally dry condition (D0). The good news is that there have been recent rains, but the heaviest totals have mostly missed the western half of the state. More chances of rain are in the forecast, but the heaviest totals will be to our south and east.

Good: 63
Bad: 6

Tags:   2013   drought  

Making up deficits

05 Jul 2013 05:39 AM
Thanks to a wet spring and June, Iowa made up its 365 day precipitation deficit from the drought of 2012. The featured chart presents some metrics related to making up this year long precipitation deficit. The top panel displays the daily rate the deficit was made up as measured from the date with the largest deficit to when the deficit was erased. The second panel displays the number of days it took for the given deficit to be erased. The bottom panel displays the depth and time of each period since 1900 with a deficit for statewide precipitation. This year's deficit bottomed out at 9.18 inches on 26 Jan 2013 and was erased on 24 June 2013 (red items on chart). The chart shows that once the long term deficit reaches four or more inches, it will probably take three months or more to recover.

Good: 227
Bad: 18

Tags:   precip   drought  

Worse than last year

26 Apr 2013 05:41 AM
The heavy rains of April have improved the drought situation in the state considerably, but the featured chart shows that Iowa is still slightly worse off than last year at this time and in the worst condition since 2003! The precipitation deficit accumulated from last year will not be made up for in a month, but will take more wet months to come. The immediate term forecast looks warm and dry, which will help the crop planting progress in the state.

Good: 143
Bad: 20

Tags:   drought  

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Weekly Drought Monitor

09 Nov 2012 05:35 AM
The US Drought Monitor is released weekly and provides an analysis of drought conditions. The featured image displays the week to week change of the drought monitor product over Iowa since January 2000. Drought is classified from a D0 to D4 category. The length of the arrow represents the areal change in combined drought categories. For example, if the entire state went from a D0 to D1 category then the arrow would be one unit long and in red. In this case, the unit length is shown on the y axis as one year. The bottom row of arrows are those for 2012 and clearly show the degrading drought situation that occured during July. The last three weeks of October 2012 have seen some improvement, but there is still a ways to go.

Good: 18
Bad: 12

Tags:   drought  

When did the drought start?

05 Oct 2012 05:45 AM
Iowa remains in the firm grasp of a drought, but when did it start? It is hard to define when a drought starts as the term "drought" is ambiguous and it takes some amount of time of dry weather before the term can apply. The featured chart looks at the running departure of statewide precipitation over three different windows of time for a period around 1988 and our current drought period of 2012. For this year, this analysis would clearly indicate that significant deficits started showing up in May. Although, a closer look shows somewhat drier conditions existing since September of 2011. Let us compare 2012 with 1988 shown in the top chart. Significant deficits started appearing in March of 1988. If the 2012 drought started in May and 1988 in March, this may provide some insight into why agricultural crops were not a complete failure in the state this year. The reason being there was some soil moisture available to start off the growing season and some precipitation came in late August/September to help out. Notice how the 365 day departure degraded in Aug/Sep for 1988 and flattened out for 2012.

Good: 43
Bad: 27

Tags:   drought   2012   1988  

Getting better and worse

16 Dec 2011 05:57 AM
After all of the heavy rainfall events of these past four years, it is hard to imagine having drought conditions in Iowa. The featured chart presents a time series of the areal coverage of various drought categories in the state from the National Drought Monitor. The chart shows conditions recently getting both better and worse (two arrows) with the total area under drought shrinking while the area in severe drought condition expanding. This implies that recent precipitation events have missed the hardest hit areas. These areas are in northwest and northcentral Iowa. The near term forecast does not have much hope for large precipitation events.

Good: 20
Bad: 3

Tags:   drought   2011  

Drought History

09 Sep 2011 05:54 AM
The current analysis of drought severity in the state has just over half of Iowa under abnormal or worse drought condition. The featured graph shows the history of drought category coverage over Iowa since the year 2000. The past 5 years have been relatively drought free with 2008 and 2010 being very wet years. The forecast does not have much in the way of rain chances for the next week as our dry weather continues.

Good: 14
Bad: 4

Tags:   drought  

Sept 2 Drought Monitor


04 Sep 2008 06:29 AM
The US Drought Monitor has an area of abnormally dry and moderate drought analyzed in Western Iowa. This area has mostly missed the rainfall events in the past few months and is starting to show some agricultural impacts. The remants of Hurricane Gustav are providing rainfall in Eastern Iowa this morning and will slowly push off to the east.

Good: 25
Bad: 4

Tags:   drought  

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Only getting worse this winter

24 Feb 2006 07:07 AM
The featured plot highlights the change in the National Drought Monitor classification for the past 5 months. You can see that for the most part, last fall and winter has not been wet enough to recover from accumulated dryness in the state. The catch 22 is that a wet spring could erase some of these rainfall deficits, but would also delay spring planting due to wet fields. We will just have to be thankful for whatever rainfall we get this spring.

Good: 27
Bad: 16

Tags:   drought  

24 Jan 2006 Drought Monitor

Continues to be dry

27 Jan 2006 07:26 AM
The most recent release of the US Drought Monitor (shown on map) continues to indicate that much of Iowa is experiencing abnormally dry conditions with the driest areas in Southern and Southeastern Iowa. It would be really nice to have a handful of steady and soaking rains this spring before planting season arrives to replemish the soil, but who knows what mother nature has in store for us this spring.

Good: 19
Bad: 17

Tags:   drought  

20 Oct 2005 Drought Monitor

Dryness continues

20 Oct 2005 07:48 AM
This weeks's drought monitor update continues to depict dry conditions over the entire state save Northcentral and Northwest Iowa. This time of year dryness is a good thing, since most farmers are looking to harvest the corns and need dry fields. The catch is that fall season rainfall can help to recharge moisture depleted soil preparing for the next growing season.

Good: 15
Bad: 8

Tags:   drought