National Weather Service forecasters are predicting near normal temperatures and precipitation this spring. Meteorologist Miles Schumacher helped craft the outlook as part of the weather service’s Weather Whisper Spring 2013 newsletter.
Schumacher notes this winter was slightly warmer and wetter than normal in Iowa. Many Iowans may feel the month of March has been especially cold, but Schumacher that’s only true when compared to March of 2012.
“Last year was 16-degrees above normal for March and we’re running about 7-degrees below normal right now,” Schumacher said. “So, it’s about 23-degrees colder this year than last year, so everyone thinks it’s record cold. Really, it’s colder than normal, but last year was so much warmer than normal that you kind of lose sight of where we really should be.”
March of 2012 ranked as the warmest March in Iowa history. This winter brought above normal precipitation over the southeast half of the state, but northwest Iowa experienced mostly dry conditions. Schumacher believes there’s a decent chance for above normal rainfall over the next couple months.
“I don’t think this spring is going to be particularly dry and we may do fairly well,” Schumacher said. “I think we’re going to be short of precipitation this summer again, kind of an echo of last year’s drought. However, I don’t think it’ll be nearly as extensive as last year was.”
The outlook does not offer predictions of severe weather, but Schumacher expects Iowans could see plenty of thunderstorms and tornadoes.
“It would probably be a safe bet to say we’ll have more than we had last year because last year was one of our lightest severe weather years in quite a while, so it’ll seem like a lot more at least,” Schumacher said.