This week is a welcome change from the summer’s heat, but though Iowa didn’t have much of a break from the warm season, state climatologist Harry Hillaker says it was not one for the record books. The month of August averaged almost one degree warmer than normal, not much out of the ordinary, and makes this just the 58th warmest in the 134 years for which state records have been kept.
Rainfall was a different story, and though some parts of the state are still suffering from a drought, that changed for many others in August. Hillaker says it was quite a contrast for many areas from early in the summer — August rainfall averaged about five-point-eight inches, one-point-six inches above normal and put the month at sixteenth wettest on record, the rainiest month that we’ve seen in Iowa since May of 2004.
Hillaker says it would have helped if the rain came earlier in the growing season, though it probably helped corn and beans in western Iowa where it was very dry earlier this summer. Hillaker’s looking ahead at what could be an el-Nino-influenced winter, which could be colder and wetter than average.