It may be hard to believe that, even with the heavy rains and snow melt last weekend, that drought conditions still persist across eastern Iowa and northern Illinois.
The latest Drought Monitor report (3/12/2013) shows that eastern Iowa is still suffering from abnormally dry conditions and that parts of northwestern Illinois are still in a "moderate drought".
However, this is much better than just six months ago. Check out this map from September 11, 2012.
The drought situation has been helped by the above average rain and snow since December. Between December 1, 2012, and March 14, 2013, the Quad Cities (the official totals from the Quad City International Airport) have picked up 10.29" of precipitation. In that time period, 6.51" is average.
Since the ground is still pretty much frozen, most of the excess rain and melted snow is running off into area rivers, which is bringing up the river levels and causing some flooding. As you recall, the drought caused exceptionally low river levels late last year.
What we really need is for some warmer weather to thaw the ground so the spring rains can soak in and replenish the water levels.
Here's NOAA's forecast for temperatures and precipitation for the March 22-28, 2013, period.
The bad news is that temperatures are expected to remain below average, so the thawing of the ground will be a slower process.
Thank you for checking out the blog and have a great weekend.
Meteorologist Anthony Peoples