State water conditions remain above normal

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

Despite a drier and colder November than normal, annual precipitation remains above normal for most of Iowa. Sadly, dry conditions in Minnesota crept into the northwest corner of Iowa, where seven percent of our state has abnormally dry conditions.

The statewide average snowfall for November was 5.0 inches, or 2.3 inches above normal. This was the snowiest November since 1991 and ranks 21st for most snow among the past 128 Novembers. Iowa temperatures averaged 29.1° or 7.5° below normal for the month. U.S. Geological Survey field crews have observed some of the earliest stream flow ice in over 40 years of their experience, with approximately 75 percent of sites affected by some ice.

The cold is also reflected in some of the earliest lake ice on record for Iowa’s northern lakes. Big Spirit Lake froze Nov. 16, and as of December 1, West Okoboji Lake was close to being completely frozen.

For a thorough review of Iowa’s water resource trends, go to