The first full month of summer left many parts of Iowa still thirsting for rain. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker tracked the July rainfall readings. He says statewide rainfall average about three-and-a-quarters inches, about an inch-and-a-quarter less than usual. Hillaker says Clinton and Scott counties were the driest in July in a trend that saw much of the eastern side of the state lacking rain.He says Maquoketa in east-central Iowa only had 74-hundredths of an inch of rain, making it their driest July since 1946. He says parts of extreme northwestern Iowa in Plymouth and Sioux County also had less than an inch of rain. While eastern Iowans watched the crops and lawns dry up, other parts of the state saw theirs get soggy. He says Bluffton in Winnesheik County got over nine-and-a-half inches of rain for the month, with most of it coming in the last two weeks of July. Hillaker says parts of northeast Iowa were extremely wet. Hillaker those in the dry areas will have to write off some of their crop yield. He says any rain now is too late for corn in the really dry areas of eastern Iowa. Hillaker says rain might help the soybeans, but he says every day that goes by hurts the yield even more. There were some scorching days in July, but Hillaker says overall the month was only one-point-two degrees above normal. He says there was a wide swing in temperatures near the end of the month. He says temperatures were averaging about 10 degrees below normal as recently as the 27th of the month, while three days earlier on the 24th, they averaged about 10 degrees above normal. Hillaker says the hottest official temperature in July was 104 degrees in Keosauqua in southeast Iowa on July 24th.
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