Nearly All of Iowa Seeing Drought Conditions
One thing that the derecho of two weeks ago did NOT bring to Iowa was relief from the ongoing drought. Yes, there was rain in the storm that blew across the state but it wasn't enough to prevent nearly all of Iowa from being categorized as being in a drought. Conditions over the past two weeks have only gotten worse.
According to the website Drought.gov, just over 96% of the state of Iowa is at least abnormally dry. Over 60% of the state is officially in a drought. As you can see in the map of current conditions, drought conditions continue to spread to the east.
Most of Eastern Iowa including Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, and Iowa City are in the abnormally dry zone. We're seeing obvious signs including our yards beginning to look like scorched earth. Mine is brown in most places, partly due to the fact all the tree cover that protected my lawn was blown away during the derecho. You can also see that the moderate drought zone is quickly spreading into Eastern Iowa as well. This zone will see more severe damage to plants and crops.
But it gets really bad when you head to Central and Western Iowa. A large swath of this area is in a severe drought where crops and pastures are more than likely lost, and water shortages are possible. Even worse is the extreme drought zone in the red. Major crop loses are happening to farmers here, along with widespread water shortages and usage restrictions.
A good soaking rain will help in some areas, including Eastern Iowa. But for some, especially out West, the drought of 2020 has already done irreversible damage.