Over the past 12 months, 44.66 inches of precipitation fell in Iowa, on average.”Puts us second, behind just 1993, which was quite a bit yet wetter yet than this year,” says State Climatologist Harry Hillaker. “But, still, second’s pretty wet when you have 138 years of weather records.”
It was the fifth-wettest July on record and June, 2010, ranks as Iowa’s wettest June ever.
“Many people are surprised, especially by that month of June — I say, it’s the wettest June ever, the second-wettest (month) of any calendar year on record — yet not really a tremendous amount of flooding going on in that particular month,” Hillaker says. “The bigger flooding came a bit later, late July in northeastern Iowa, the Maquoketa River especially, and then during the second week of August with flooding mainly in central Iowa, but overall flooding not as severe as you’d anticipate with so much rainfall.”
The Lake Delhi Dam collapsed in flooding in July and the lake drained away. In August, a deluge sent floodwaters cascading through Ames and the small town of Colfax was swamped, as well as some low-lying areas on the east side of Des Moines.
The state climatologist says most of the state had a fairly normal spring for precipitation.”That helped give us a little more capacity to handle some rain when the very wet summer came along and that would be quite a contrast to what happened in 1993 and 2008 where you had persistently cool weather throughout the spring and summer and wet weather during that spring season those other years,” Hillaker says. “And also a big factor was that it was much warmer this year during the growing season, each month warmer than usual — some of those months quite a bit warmer than usual — and that means more evaporation drying things out a little bit better between the rain events.”
Despite the rather chilly start to 2010, temperatures for the year averaged out to be “fairly close to normal” according to Hillaker.
“Four-tenths of a degree above normal for the yearly average and that was with the three winter months — January, February and December (2010) all being much colder than usual yet all the nine intervening months — March through November — all a little bit on the warm side of normal,” Hillaker says. “It averages out…to a little bit on the warm side for the year, as a whole.”
Hillaker has predicted this winter will be a bit colder and snowier than normal.