All the final data isn’t in just yet, but a look back on the 2006 weather record books shows a year that was warm. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the year got off to an above-average start, and ended that way too. January tied the record for warmest January on record with 1933, averaging 14-and-a-half degrees above normal. December was also above average temperature wise with only September and October averaging cooler than normal. It was also a little drier too. Hillaker says statewide average for precipitation will be about two-and-a-half inches of rain below normal, to put it about in the middle compared to long-term records, but drier than many recent years. Western and southern Iowa were the driest.
Hillaker says Keokuk and Fort Madison averaged 10 inches below their normal rainfall. Hillaker says eastern Iowa was the wettest area. Hillaker says it was a very wet March and April with an extremely dry May, June and July that looked to be drying out the crops. But Hillaker says the rains returned in August and September to salvage the crops. Hillaker says Maquoketa in eastern Iowa was 11 inches above its normal rainfall.
Hillaker says the warm conditions in December could be attributed to the El-nino phenomenon. He says the conditions in December were very characteristic of El-nino, but that doesn’t explain the conditions for much of the rest of the year. Hillaker says El-nino wasn’t a big player until later in the year, but could be a player in the first months of this new year.
Iowa weather is known for its extremes, but the sixth year of this new century turned out to be a calm one. Hillaker it was an “extremely quiet year” as the only major severe storm came on April 13th where one person was killed as tornadoes hit Muscatine and Iowa City. Hillaker says if you took out that one day there were a total of two or three tornadoes in the peak months of May and June — which Hillaker says if probably a record for those two months. Hillaker says there wasn’t much to talk about the rest of the year either. Hillaker says there weren’t any major snowstorms this year, and not very much flooding with the few heavy rains that hit the state. Hillaker sums it up this way. Hillaker says it was, “A pretty uneventful year as far as severe weather events.”
Related web sites:
Iowa Weather Data