State officials who track weather trends say Iowa received about six more inches of rain than usual in 2019. With 41.5 inches of rain falling across Iowa, last year ranks as the 12th-wettest year on record in the state, according to the latest Water Summary Update.
“2019 was a very wet year, but so was 2018. The last two years combined were the wettest two years on record for the state,” said Tim Hall, coordinator of hydrology resources for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “These conditions have resulted in higher than normal stream flows and good shallow groundwater conditions going into the winter months.”
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As a result of the prolonged period of higher-than-normal precipitation both in Iowa and throughout the upper Midwest, Hall said river and stream flows in Iowa were above normal for the entire year. Significant and long-term flooding has been experienced on both the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in 2019, he noted, and interior streams have experienced above normal flows for much of the year.
Eight months of 2019 had below-average temperatures, Hall added, with the coldest temperatures of the year reported near sunrise on Jan. 30 ranging from the minus 20s in southern Iowa to minus 30s in northern Iowa.
For a review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to www.iowadnr.gov/watersummaryupdate.