The Ottumwa Courier

October 11, 2012

Iowa's drought status unchanged

MATT MILNER
CNHI

OTTUMWA — Iowa got some good news this week in the U.S. Drought Monitor's report: Last week's sharp turn for the worse halted.

The numbers for Iowa remained unchanged. The report released Thursday had a map identical to last week's. It's not a good map. Three-quarters of the state remains under extreme drought conditions. But things did not get worse and rain is expected this weekend.

The change from three months ago is startling. In early July the worst category in Iowa was severe drought, and it only covered 12.7 percent of the state. No corner of Iowa escapes that designation today.

Forecasters have said the state needs to see rain before the winter freeze sets in. Once that happens, it becomes much more difficult to get moisture into the hardened ground.

This weekend should bring at least some drought relief. But the weather isn't what people want or expect from this time of year. Forecasts call for severe weather, and officials are urging people to review their readiness.