Black Hawk County Now in ‘Extreme Drought’
In the latest update from the U.S Drought Monitor, 32% of Black Hawk County is now in an Extreme Drought (D3). Extreme Drought was added to parts of Iowa in October 2020, removed in February 2021, and is now back in this week’s drought monitor.
According to drought.gov, at this stage you can expect:
*Pastures are dry; crops have pest infestation
*Trees drop leaves; acorns are underdeveloped
*Warm water leads to fish kills; streambeds are low to dry
Statewide, just under 7% of Iowa is in an Extreme Drought. This includes the entire counties of Butler and Franklin. The majority of Grundy and Hardin Counties are also in the Extreme Drought category, and portions of Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, and Floyd counties. Further west, the Extreme Drought is prevalent in Clay, Dickinson, Emmett, and Kossuth counties.
Is there any relief in sight? NOAA's Climate Prediction Center releases Monthly and Seasonal Drought Outlooks each month. The 3-4 week outlook predicts most of Iowa will see below-normal precipitation.
The Drought Monitor summarized the past week saying:
Conditions deteriorated significantly across Minnesota and northern Iowa, most notably in several large patches in Iowa and adjacent Minnesota, where extreme drought (D3) was introduced.
The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in Iowa lasted 151 weeks beginning in August 2011 and ending in June 2014. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of September 25, 2012, where ‘Exceptional Drought’ (D4) affected 2.52% of Iowa land.
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