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counties with USDA Disaster Designations (primary)

2.1 Million

Iowa residents in areas of drought, according to the Drought Monitor


wettest March on record (since 1895)


wettest January—March on record (since 1895)

Current Iowa Drought Maps

Drought & Dryness Categories
% of IA
Drought Change Since Last Week
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions
Dry Conditions
Wet Conditions


Drought in the Midwest

Drought and its impacts vary from region to region—due to differences in climate. Precipitation extremes in the Midwest have a major impact on the region’s resources, economic sectors, and residents. Over the last century, precipitation trends in the Midwest have been moving towards wetter conditions and fewer droughts than the region experienced in the early 20th century. However, the Midwest has still felt adverse impacts during recent droughts, particularly in 1988 and 2012. These adverse impacts include limited barge transportation on major rivers, decreased agricultural production, challenges for municipal water supply and quality, and reduced productivity for hydropower. In fall 2022, drought conditions across portions of the Mississippi River Basin caused river levels to drastically lower, which had a significant impact on the transportation of goods along the river.

An added challenge in recent years has been the tendency to transition from drought to flood and back to drought within short time spans, sometimes within a matter of months, as well as flash drought, which is a drought that intensifies rapidly.

NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) launched the Midwest Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) in response to the 2012 drought, which highlighted the need for additional drought early warning and preparedness in the region. The Midwest DEWS is a network of regional and national partners that share information and coordinate actions to help communities in the region cope with drought. Western Iowa is also part of the Missouri River Basin DEWS.

Reach out to Molly Woloszyn, the Regional Drought Coordinator for this region, for more information, or sign up for the Midwest or Missouri River Basin DEWS newsletter.

Iowa Current Conditions

A number of physical indicators are important for monitoring drought, such as precipitation & temperature, water supply (e.g., streamflow, reservoirs), and soil moisture. Learn more about monitoring drought.

Iowa Precipitation Conditions

Inches of Precipitation
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)
Percent of Normal Precipitation (%)

Iowa Temperature Conditions

Maximum Temperature (°F)
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)
Departure from Normal Max Temperature (°F)

Iowa Streamflow Conditions

Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions
Streamflow Conditions

Iowa Soil Moisture Conditions

20 cm Soil Moisture Percentile
0–100 cm Soil Moisture Percentile

Outlooks & Forecasts for Iowa

Predicting drought in Iowa depends on the ability to forecast precipitation and temperature within the context of complex climate interactions. View more outlooks & forecasts.

Future Precipitation & Temperature Conditions

Predicted Inches of Precipitation
Probability of Below-Normal Precipitation
Probability of Above-Normal Precipitation
Probability of Below-Normal Temperatures
Probability of Above-Normal Temperatures

Drought Outlooks for Iowa

Drought Is Predicted To...
Drought Is Predicted To...

Historical Drought Conditions in Iowa

Drought is a normal climate pattern that has occurred in varying degrees of length, severity, and size throughout history. Below, you can look back at past drought conditions for Iowa according to 3 historical drought indices. The U.S. Drought Monitor is a weekly map that shows the location and intensity of drought across the country since 2000. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a monthly depiction of drought based on precipitation (with data going back to 1895). And the paleoclimate data uses tree-ring reconstructions to estimate drought conditions before we had widespread instrumental records, going back to the year 0 for some parts of the U.S. View more historical conditions.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The U.S. Drought Monitor (2000–present) depicts the location and intensity of drought across the country. Every Thursday, authors from NOAA, USDA, and the National Drought Mitigation Center produce a new map based on their assessments of the best available data and input from local observers. The map uses five categories: Abnormally Dry (D0), showing areas that may be going into or are coming out of drought, and four levels of drought (D1–D4). Learn more.

Drought Resources for Iowa

Stay Informed: Local Drought Updates

Drought Alert Emails
Get email updates when U.S. Drought Monitor conditions change for your location or a new drought outlook is released.

Regional Drought Status Updates
NIDIS & its partners issue regional updates covering drought conditions, outlooks/forecasts, and local impacts.

Midwest Drought Email List
Get regional drought status updates right to your inbox, as well as drought news, webinars, and other events for the Midwest.

Missouri River Basin Drought Email List
Get regional drought status updates right to your inbox, as well as drought news, webinars, and other events for the Missouri River Basin.

North Central U.S. Climate and Drought Summary and Outlook Webinars
This webinar series, which covers the region from the Rockies to the Great Lakes, includes a summary of past and current conditions, potential and ongoing impacts across sectors (e.g., agriculture, water resources, navigation), and outlook information.

Get Involved: Submit Local Drought Impacts

Drought in your area? Tell us how drought is impacting your community by submitting a condition monitoring report. Your submissions help us better understand how drought is affecting local conditions.