State climatologist Harry Hillaker says September was a below average month — unless you’re a fan of cooler temperatures. Hillaker says temperatures averaged just about three degrees lower than normal — making it the coolest September in 13 years. And he says it’s the first cooler than normal month in Iowa since December of 2005.
Hillaker says part of the reason for the cooler temperatures was an increase in clouds and rain. He says overall Iowa averaged a half-inch more rain than normal statewide. Hillaker says northwestern Iowa was much wetter than normal, while eastern Iowa was drier than normal. He says Davenport had only nine-tenths of an inch of rain, while parts of northwest Iowa got eight inches.
Hillaker says the rainfall continued to vary widely, but the rain pattern did a turn around. Hillaker says the eastern part of the state which had been wet early in the year, flip-flopped to be dry, and the western part of the state that had been dry, became wetter.
Hillaker says while it was cooler in September, only one-third of the state has so far seen a freeze. He says temperatures got to 32 degrees on the 20th of September in far northwest Iowa — which he says it a little early.
Hillaker says central Iowa can expect the first freeze on average around October 6th, and the far southeast usually doesn’t’ see the first freeze until mid October. Hillaker says the first hard freeze usually doesn’t come on average until a week after the first freeze in most areas.
Hillaker says the state isn’t that far away from the overall rain and temperature averages as we head into the final three months of the year. Hillaker says the statewide rain average is only about one inch below normal, as we made up quite a bit of ground in the last few months.
Hillaker says the state is about two degrees above the average temperature wise so far this year. Hillaker says forecasts indicate October will likely be a little warmer in the first week.