The scorching heat returns today (Wednesday) and state climatologist Harry Hillaker says the worst of it may be in northwest Iowa. It’s just where the state’s been driest, too, and he says where all the soil moisture’s already dried up, the sun shines on the ground and there’s no moisture to evaporate so it just gets hot, and heats up the air.

Hillaker agrees with agronomists who say the corn crop has depleted sub-soil moisture. Every part of Iowa started off the season with about normal moisture, he says, but for growing a crop the soil only contains about half the moisture it’ll need during the season. It needs to keep on raining, and he says “it hasn’t done a very good job of doing that, especially in the northwestern part of the state.”

There’s hope that temperatures will return to normal before long. Hillaker says it’s pretty rare for all three months of a summer to be both hotter and drier than normal, and though we may get one or another it’s not likely we’ll suffer both for the whole summer.

Before long, perhaps late this weekend, Hillaker expects temps to get back down around seasonal normals. Better news: some computer models are suggesting slightly below-normal readings next week.