July is almost over and the experts say it’ll easily end up as one of Iowa’s coolest-ever Julys, if not -the- coldest on record. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says he checked weather records dating back more than 130 years, and Iowa’s coldest previous July was in 1891 when the temperature averaged 68.3 degrees.
"If you average out all of the 2009 numbers, we’re right at that same value, 68.3, so we’re currently tied with July of 1891 as the coolest July on record," Hillaker says. "With the forecast what it is, it looks like we have a pretty good chance of actually breaking that record." While past Julys have seen plenty of 100-degree days, Hillaker says there’s only been one day so far the temps even reached into the 90s — that was last Friday, July 24th.
He says a big hunk of west-central Iowa reached 90 and in a few cases, a few degrees above that, which was the only day in the 90s this month. It’s very unusual, Hillaker says, especially for a month that’s usually very hot and humid. Many Iowa communities have barely gotten out of the 80s.
He says the highs for July are exceptionally low, as Dubuque’s hottest temperature all month is only 82 degrees, Cedar Rapids’ high is 83 and even Burlington, in far southeast Iowa, has only made it to 86. If tradition holds, the month ahead will likely be a cool one, too. Hillaker says the top seven coldest Julys in Iowa were followed by seven cooler-than-normal Augusts.