DES MOINES, Iowa – After a week of much-needed rain across the state, the latest drought monitor shows some improving drought conditions across Iowa, but not as much as some hoped.

The newest drought monitor indicates small improvements in southern Iowa. South central and southeastern Iowa have seen some of the moderate drought retreat. Parts of Decatur County are no longer under a severe drought. However, the areas under extreme drought near Ottumwa saw almost no improvements. Meanwhile, parts of eastern Iowa from Waterloo to Cedar Rapids have been upgraded to a severe drought.

This matches somewhat with where most of the rain fell over the last week. Brad Pugh, a meteorologist with the Climate Prediction Center, notes that crops can still do well thanks to short term rain even when under a longer term drought. Longer term precipitation deficits are one reason why much of the extreme drought remains in place in southeastern Iowa. So, while recent rains have been good for crops, they haven’t been enough to make much of a dent in the drought over the last several months and years.

Next 7 Days of Expected Rain

The next seven days will bring the potential for more needed rain across Iowa. A good portion of the state is expected to see at least another half inch to inch of rain. For any notable drought relief, however, we will need to see significantly more rain to compensate for the deficit that has built up over the year and last several years.