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More heavy rain, 58% of Iowa now out of the drought

Up to 3.5 inches of rain has fallen in some parts of Iowa since Wednesday morning.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Miles Schumacher says areas to the west and just north of Des Moines received the heaviest rain. “It looks like anywhere from three-quarters of an inch to an inch-and-a-half is pretty common. A band extending from just northwest of Des Moines toward the Council Bluffs area, two to three-and-a-half (inches) is quite common in a band maybe 50 miles wide there,” Schumacher says.

Statewide, total precipitation for the month of May is 1.5 inches above normal. This follows a month that was Iowa’s wettest April ever.

An update from the U.S. Drought Monitor this morning shows 58% of Iowa is now drought-free. “Most of the east half to two-thirds (of Iowa) is pretty much out of it,” Schumacher says. “In fact, we’ve had a couple category improvement in the west…the D2, which is severe (drought), is just barely touching the state. We’ve improved quite a bit this spring.”

All this rain has left farmers with little opportunity to plant corn, soybeans, and other crops. Schumacher says there should be a window of opportunity after today. “It looks like it is going to turn drier,” Schumacher says. “Most of the accumulating rains that we’re going to see from this system have already occurred. A few showers over the weekend, then we’ll probably stay dry until next Wednesday. So, a little bit of a drier pattern that what we’ve been in.”

High temperatures over the weekend are expected in the 50s to low 60s, but Schumacher says highs will climb into the 80s to near 90 by next Tuesday.