Having lived in Utah for the last four years, one thing I have really come to appreciate is the rain. Out west, we saw some of the worst drought decades and water levels they have ever seen which always makes farmers worry about how they are going to water their livestock and crops.

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But now that I am in Iowa, I have been taking the time to figure out what I should expect with my first Midwest summer.

My first question: what is the drought situation?

Well, we have a new update on that.

A new map from the US Drought Monitor is showing that soil conditions in Iowa are improving—slightly. And we can thank all the rain and snow we got in the last week for this.

However, according to WNAX, when looking at the Midwest as a whole, this isn’t necessarily the case.

Meteorologist Dennis Todey , director of the U-S-D-A's Midwest Climate Hub in Ames, says that we are already seeing stressed crops in the region.

"We have, obviously, great concerns for winter wheat right now because that area that is in drought and has been in drought extending is much of that winter wheat area from the Central Plains south," Todey said. "Still a lot can happen but there's been damage done to it because of drought and some other things."

In Eastern Iowa, we won’t be hit with the worst of it. The worst of the drought it going to be in far west and central Iowa, with the driest areas being in the west side of the state.

"Most of the major drought areas are just west of the major corn and soybean growing areas but it's right on the edge," Todey said, "and the areas that are dry and hot are on the western part of the Corn Belt, so we do have risk there."

And if you thought we had a mild winter, Todey told WNAX that South Dakota and Nebraska say LESS than HALF of its normal winter snowfall.

The recent drought map for Iowa shows 41 counties being “abnormally dry”. However only 24 counties are in “moderate drought” which is two less than last week. Onona and Woodbury are still listed as “severe drought”.

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