The prospect of help from Mother Nature in getting rid of the West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes aren’t good. State Health Department Director Stephen Gleason says a good cold snap is the only sure way to rid the state of the mosquitoes that’re carrying the West Nile virus. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the first frostis still weeks away.He says the first freeze generally hits northern Iowa in mid to late September, and it’s the first week in October before it chills southern Iowa. Hillaker says there are cases of earlier frosts, but the forecasts aren’t pointing that way this year. How did we get so many mosquitoes after a relatively painless summer? Hillaker says August was wetter and cooler than normal, conditions that were perfect for the mosquitoes to breed.The temperature averaged about eight-tenths of a degree below normal, ranking the state 45th coolest on record. While temperatures dropped, rainfall picked up in August.We averaged five-point-eight-four inches, one-point-eight-one inches above normal. Hillaker says it was the wettest month since May of 2001, and the 15th wettest August on record. While the statewide average rainfall was up, it wasn’t a steady flow from above.Parts of south central Iowa had rainfall that was less than normal for August. Hillaker says September will likely continue the wet trend with normal temperatures.
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