The Rocky Mountains are bare of snow and forecasters are worrying about a drought this year from Nebraska clear out to the Pacific Northwest. But Iowa climatologist Harry Hillaker says Iowa has a different outlook. He says “Almost every year somewhere in Iowa we have some drought problems somewhere or another,” but right now we really don’t have much problem anywhere. It may seem kind of deceptive, he admits, given the big grassfires over the weekend in western Iowa, but the forecaster says those were mainly the result of only a recent dry period with little rain. Hillaker says right now across the state we’re probably in better shape for moisture than we’;ve been in several years. 2004 was the wettest recently so most of the state comes into this year with more soil moisture than usual. The few exceptions are in the southwest into central parts of the state, and Dubuque through Waterloo and Ames into Glenwood. He says moisture’s a little short, but “nothing that normal rainfall couldn’t overcome this spring.” The Dakotas and Nebraska are facing a sixth year of drought with the lack of mountain snowpack threatening their rivers and other surface water supply. While it’s difficult to make a long-term forecast this early in the year, Hillaker says it could be another record year for Iowa crop farmers.
You are here: / / State Climatologist says drought shouldn’t be a problem