Iowa's drought eased considerably in early November, with a large portion of eastern Iowa falling into the moderate drought category.
The U.S. Drought Monitor's report, released late last week, shows 68.65 percent of Iowa in severe drought. That's a lot, but it's also a lot lower than the prior week, when just over 90 percent of the state was in that category.
Eastern Iowa saw the most improvement. Severe drought conditions remain for nearly all of Appanoose, Monroe, Mahaska and Marion counties. But the prior week's report had much of Appanoose and Marion counties under extreme drought, a category that has retreated entirely from the state's southeastern area.
All or most of Davis, Van Buren, Wapello, Jefferson and Keokuk counties are now in the moderate drought category.
The improvement was very widespread but not universal. A portion of northwestern Iowa slipped from severe to extreme drought. The part of the state under exceptional drought, the most serious category, declined by more than half, though.