OTTUMWA — Rain returned to southeast Iowa overnight Tuesday, and it looks likely to continue for a while.
The timing of the rain is important. The ground is finally thawing out, which means rain can soak in. During the winter any rain or melting snow just ran off without doing soil moisture levels any good.
Ottumwa saw about an inch of rain overnight, according to the National Weather Service, and Pella officially received a half-inch. Enough rain has fallen for the most of the area to be under a flash flood watch.
While southeastern Iowa is happy to see rain, northwestern Iowa is dealing with winter's last gasp. Winter storm warnings and ice storm warnings are in place there.
There is a very slight risk of severe weather as thunderstorms continue today, but most severe storms are expected to be contained to southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.
Farmers in southern Iowa are currently ahead of the statewide pace for planting, but the comparatively late arrival of spring this year means everyone is well behind the average for April.