The state climatologist says as you may have noticed, October was warmer than average, and drier. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says temperatures averaged about two degrees above normal for the month as a whole, and rainfall was around 9-tenths of an inch, which is just over one-third of what’s usual for the month of October.
Only in far southwest around Sioux City and the very southernmost parts of the state did they get nearly normal rainfall totals. It’s great for letting the corn dry down naturally out in the field, which Hillaker points out is good with the high price of fuel these days, and helps the harvest go quickly.
As for whether our warmer-than-average temps will continue into winter, Hillaker says indications are mixed. Recent history favors a milder winter than normal, but then again he says a rough year for hurricanes like we’ve seen in the Atlantic this year favors a colder winter. Hillaker says while farmers may like the dry weather for getting their harvest chores done, we’ll need rain to recharge groundwater before everything freezes for the winter.