Abnormally dry conditions are persisting throughout Marion and Warren Counties, with drought expanding in nearby counties. In the latest U.S. Drought Monitor Report, moderate drought conditions now are in place throughout most of Jasper County and in northern Mahaska County. More than 96 percent of the state is abnormally dry or worse, with drought in more than half of Iowa.

Hot and dry conditions are expected to end this evening, but a cold front may bring scattered severe thunderstorms, especially in eastern Iowa. The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center has issued a slight risk of severe weather, with strong winds and large hail the primary threats. Scattered thunderstorms are possible with a cold front expected to push through the state late this afternoon and evening, which may impact many high school football games.

More seasonable temperatures are expected this weekend, with highs in the mid 80s, and additional rain chances returning early next week. Stay tuned to KNIA/KRLS for the latest weather information.