DROUGHT 2012: No Relief in Sight

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Things are beginning to take a turn for the worse.  After a decent round of rains this week I was hopeful that we’d see a fair amount of improvement in the drought conditions over Iowa.  Admittedly my lawn is looking much healthier, but those looks can be deceiving.

As you can see in the graphic above, much of the state (highlighted in brown) remains under moderate drought conditions.  Areas in the yellow are considered abnormally dry.  In talking with people, they don’t seem too concerned, and I can understand why.  See, in the eyes of the experts, this is so far a “short-term drought”.  What that means is that the concerns don’t go much further than area farm fields.

But that’s where a lot of concern lies right now.  The state’s crops are entering a critical period of the growing season.  Continued lack of rain could stunt the growth and limit yields producing a disappointing harvest.  It’s not set in stone this will happen, but it’s a serious concern with the forecast looking so dry in the days ahead.

What’s more trouble is current long range forecasts continue to show above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation in the weeks ahead.  This is serious because that combination puts a great deal of stress on the crops.  And if this drought persists, the problems will begin to stretch in urban lives as well.  Water restrictions have happened before and they can always happen again.

So the drought isn’t affecting everyone yet, but that can change.  All we can do now is hope for a pattern change and that rain will return to Iowa.

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