A continued drier than normal weather pattern, which started during the latter part of October, continued into much of December.

The latest information from the Climate Prediction Center indicates that total soil moisture in the top 5 feet or so of the soil is as much as 3 to 4 inches below normal in parts of southeastern Iowa, with lesser below normal amounts in areas farther to the west and north.  

Total soil moisture amounts are still closer to normal in sections of western Iowa, but top soils have dried in most areas.   

Going further into winter,...