Experts say the drought in Iowa showed a significant shift last week for the first time in more than a month.
The data for the week ended Dec. 25 shows a much broaders swath of southern Iowa in moderate drought compared to the prior week. Statewide, the percentage of land under severe drought fell more than 10 percentage points, though the northwestern corner under exceptional drought remained unchanged.
Much of southeast Iowa had already fallen into moderate drought. Severe drought conditions persisted, though, for much of Mahaska, Monroe, Marion and Appanoose counties. This week's report shows all of Mahaska, Monroe and Marion counties in moderate drought, with only a sliver of southwestern Appanoose County still in moderate drought.
While the area has a chance of precipitation this week, it is questionable whether it will do much good. A layer of snow covers much of the ground and temperatures have remained below freezing long enough to make it difficult for water to penetrate.