After four relentless years of parched earth and anxious skies, Iowa emerges from the grip of drought.

What drought?

Iowa Public Radio says, that after enduring four consecutive years of drought, Iowa finally finds relief as the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report reveals a significant turnaround. Over 75% of the state now boasts drought-free conditions, with the remaining quarter categorized as merely "abnormally dry," a far cry from the severe conditions of recent memory.

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The transformation comes on the heels of a May marked by not only adequate rainfall but also bouts of severe weather. Some regions witnessed rainfall surges ranging from 150% to 200% of their typical monthly averages. State Climatologist Justin Glisan notes that certain areas, particularly in northwest and north central Iowa, are experiencing near-historic levels of precipitation. In fact, records stretching back 132 years to 1893 attest to this, with some locales marking their third or fourth wettest springs on record.

The contrast is stark when considering the precipitation deficits that plagued these regions not long ago. Some weather stations recorded deficits equivalent to an entire year's worth of rainfall, reaching up to 35 inches in certain areas.

For Glisan, the recent deluge represents a long-awaited reprieve. He points out that it's been nearly four years since a drought-free map adorned Iowa's meteorological landscape.  That just sounds good, meteorological landscape.  I wonder if there are any meteorological landscape photographers out there.

Not everyone is out of the drought

In the Northeast of Iowa, they're still reporting abnormally dry conditions.  And in the Midwest where weather patterns shape the landscape and livelihoods extremes in weather profoundly impact resources, industries, and communities.  Despite a historical trend towards wetter conditions over the last century, the region still grapples with the ramifications of drought, and significantly in the years 1988 and 2012.  Also, 2022 saw the challenges of drought when parts of the Mississippi River basin dropped to drastic levels, and that affected the movement of goods.

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