The month of July, like June, was one of the wettest in Iowa history. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says, on average, 5.88 inches of rain fell statewide in July. That’s 1.6 inches more than usual for the month.
Hillaker says last month was the wettest July in Iowa since 1993 and will go down as the 16th wettest July in 136 years of record keeping. Several locations in south-central Iowa were hit the hardest. "Places like Centerville, Lake Rathbun and Lamoni…many of those areas received well over 10 inches of rain during the month," Hillaker said.
Over the first seven months of 2008, Appanoose and Wayne Counties in south-central Iowa have received the most rain – just over 41 inches. With five months left in the year, Iowa’s statewide average rainfall stands at 30.2 inches.
"It’s actually our second wettest January through July period on record in the state. The only one wetter, which will come as no surprise, was 1993 – which averaged almost three inches more than first seven months have given us this year," Hillaker said.
Iowa’s statewide average rainfall over the past 136 years is 34.1 inches. Although temperatures have warmed up recently, Hillaker says it’s been a cooler-than-normal summer. So far, the highest temperature recorded in the state this year is 95 in several locations. Hillaker says Iowa has now had eight consecutive months of below average temperatures.
Hillaker says the amount of rain Iowa has received, on average, so far this year – is just short of what we usually receive over an entire year.