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Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for Iowa

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. This map shows drought conditions across Iowa using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more.

The following state-specific drought impacts were compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center. While these impacts are not exhaustive, they can help provide a clearer picture of drought in Iowa. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Corn shows drought stress; soil is dry
77.0
of IA
(D0–D4)
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Soybeans abort pods; corn test weights are struggling
  • Grasses are brown; more grass fires occur; burn bans are issued
  • Pond levels decline
45.1
of IA
(D1–D4)
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Dryland corn has extremely low yields; commodity shortages are noted; livestock is stressed
  • Fire danger is high
  • Surface water levels are low; algae blooms increase; voluntary water conservation is requested
14.1
of IA
(D2–D4)
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Pastures are dry; producers sell cattle; crops are tested for toxins; crops have pest infestation
  • Trees drop leaves; acorns are underdeveloped
  • Warm water leads to fish kills; streambeds are low to dry
0.0
of IA
(D3–D4)
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Row crop yields and forage production have significant impacts
  • Extreme measures are taken to conserve water
  • Aquatic invertebrates in waterways increase
0
of IA
(D4)
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Corn shows drought stress; soil is dry
78.3
of IA
(D0–D4)
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Soybeans abort pods; corn test weights are struggling
  • Grasses are brown; more grass fires occur; burn bans are issued
  • Pond levels decline
45.3
of IA
(D1–D4)
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Dryland corn has extremely low yields; commodity shortages are noted; livestock is stressed
  • Fire danger is high
  • Surface water levels are low; algae blooms increase; voluntary water conservation is requested
14.1
of IA
(D2–D4)
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Pastures are dry; producers sell cattle; crops are tested for toxins; crops have pest infestation
  • Trees drop leaves; acorns are underdeveloped
  • Warm water leads to fish kills; streambeds are low to dry
0.0
of IA
(D3–D4)
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Row crop yields and forage production have significant impacts
  • Extreme measures are taken to conserve water
  • Aquatic invertebrates in waterways increase
0
of IA
(D4)
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Corn shows drought stress; soil is dry
74.6
of IA
(D0–D4)
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Soybeans abort pods; corn test weights are struggling
  • Grasses are brown; more grass fires occur; burn bans are issued
  • Pond levels decline
48.1
of IA
(D1–D4)
D2 - Severe Drought
  • Dryland corn has extremely low yields; commodity shortages are noted; livestock is stressed
  • Fire danger is high
  • Surface water levels are low; algae blooms increase; voluntary water conservation is requested
9.6
of IA
(D2–D4)
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Pastures are dry; producers sell cattle; crops are tested for toxins; crops have pest infestation
  • Trees drop leaves; acorns are underdeveloped
  • Warm water leads to fish kills; streambeds are low to dry
0.0
of IA
(D3–D4)
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Row crop yields and forage production have significant impacts
  • Extreme measures are taken to conserve water
  • Aquatic invertebrates in waterways increase
0
of IA
(D4)
1.8 Million
people in Iowa are affected by drought
41
counties with USDA disaster designations
18th
driest September was in 2021, over the past 127 years
32nd
driest year to date was in 2021, over the past 127 years

Explore Drought Conditions by City and County

Summary

View up-to-date drought conditions down to the city and county level, including temperature, and precipitation conditions, key drought indicators, outlooks, historical conditions, and water supply, agriculture, and public health maps.

View Conditions by City:
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Drought in Iowa from 2000–Present

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in Iowa lasted 151 weeks beginning on August 9, 2011, and ending on June 24, 2014. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of September 25, 2012, where D4 affected 2.52% of Iowa land.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a national map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are currently in drought. The USDM relies on drought experts to synthesize the best available data and work with local observers to interpret the information. The USDM also incorporates ground truthing and information about how drought is affecting people, via a network of more than 450 observers across the country, including state climatologists, National Weather Service staff, Extension agents, and hydrologists. Learn more.

    The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is an index to characterize meteorological drought on a range of timescales, ranging from 1 to 72 months. The SPI is the number of standard deviations that observed cumulative precipitation deviates from the climatological average. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information produce the 9-month SPI values below on a monthly basis, going back to 1895. Learn more.

    Tree-rings are used to extend the instrumental record of drought to over 2,000 years. The Living Blended Drought Product (LBDP) is a recalibrated data series of June-July-August Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI) values in the lower 48 U.S. states. This dataset blends tree-ring reconstructions and instrumental data to estimate the average summer PMDI values, which extend over 2,000 years in some parts of the U.S. Learn more.