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Dust kicks up around a tractor working a field east of Oelwein on Tuesday.


Northeast Iowa has been abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, but more normal rainfall is expected this month. Temperatures are expected to remain to the high side.

From March 17-30 much of Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota and Western Wisconsin received anywhere from a third of an inch to 2 inches of precipitation, says a report posted by the National Weather Service. Normally, around 1.25 inches of precipitation falls during this time period.

Oelwein received 1.35 inches of precipitation over the full month of August, while a normal total is considered 1.99 inches,

according to NWS records.

Abnormally dry designation as defined by the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates an area is heading into drought conditions. Short-term dryness can slow down planting as well as the growth of crops and pastures. Fire risk is also above average.

The counties of Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell and Winneshiek are abnormally dry.

The report also says that since Oct. 1, precipitation deficits of 1 to 4 inches have developed in the region.

Looking ahead, warmer-than-normal temperatures will likely continue as more moisture should come to the region. The report says that the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting enhanced chances for above-normal temperatures and precipitation from April 7-13 for the region. The daily average temperatures for this period range from 41 to 46 degrees with the normal precipitation around 8 tenths of an inch, it says

The Climate Prediction Center also says the odds favor warmer weather across the Upper Mississippi River Valley from May to July. Meanwhile, the precipitation outlook is for equal chances of wetter-, near- and drier-than-normal.


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