The drought monitor is reassessed every week by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The cutoff for data is Tuesday at 8 AM, then experts analyze the data and issue the drought monitor Thursday at 8 AM.
The latest drought monitor is out and it shows some troubling evidence across western Iowa, drought conditions are worsening. In the past week much of west central Iowa was upgraded to a Category D2-Severe Drought. Although this is just under 6% of the state, the severe drought includes all of Guthrie and nearly all of Dallas county.
The impacts of a Category D2-Severe Drought are:
- Livestock becomes stressed
- Fire danger is high
- Water levels are low, algae blooms increase
The overall drought has also increased by just under 10% with 50.78% of the state considered at least abnormally dry this is up from 41.83% last week.
Important Note: The latest drought monitor does not include the rain that fell after 8 AM Tuesday. However, the amount of rain that fell in the Category D2-Severe Drought area was under a half inch, which would not have been enough to impact the drought from worsening. Below shows a time-lapse of rain that fell between 8 AM Tuesday 7/14 and 8 AM Thursday 7/16.