State climatologist says much more rain needed to bust the drought

DES MOINES — Parts of Iowa got rain Sunday evening into Monday, but the state climatologist says the rain won’t put much of a dent in Iowa’s longstanding drought.

Justin Glisan says rainfall amounts ranged from on quarter to half an inch in the northern parts of the state, to an inch or more farther south.  “These are the types of rains that we need several more of to really start to put a chip in the deficits we’re seeing, especially in drier parts of the state…looking at eastern Iowa,” Glisan says.

Glisan says northeast Iowa just had its tenth-driest summer, and would need six-to-eight inches of rain above the average to make up for this year’s rainfall deficits.  “So you would need several months, if not more than a year of above-average precipitation to really extinguish the more intense and longer-term drought conditions that we’ve seen across the state,” he says.

Glisan says the current drought hasn’t been quite as bad as droughts in 2012 or 1988, because temperatures this summer was cooler overall than those two years.

Glisan made his comments on the Iowa Public Radio Program “River to River.”