A new state report notes that 36% of the state is rated “abnormally dry” after July brought a second straight month of below normal precipitation.

"It seems surprising that after the wet winter and spring that we would be thinking about drought conditions, but recent dryness has pushed parts of the state in that direction," said Tim Hall, the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s coordinator of hydrology resources. "So far, streamflow and shallow groundwater are at normal levels, but we will continue to monitor those conditions." 

Rain totals around the state averaged 3.35 inches in July, 1.15 inches below normal. June and July together were 2.3 inches below normal for rainfall. Yet the previous 12 months were the fourth-wettest on record.

Temperatures averaged 75.1 degrees, 1.5 degrees above normal, making July the 51st-warmest on record. The top temperature was 99 degrees on July 19 in Little Sioux in Harrison County, 13 degrees above average. The low was 48 degrees in Cresco on July 31, 11 degrees below average.

Many areas of the state are still mopping up the mess from spring’s severe weather. On Thursday, Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation extending existing proclamations of disaster emergency for flooding and severe weather that began in March. The extension allows state resources to be used to respond to and recover from the effects of the severe weather for an additional 30 days to Sept. 8.

For more on the new DNR report, go here