With harvest season fully underway, busy farmers will welcome the news that soggy September is almost over and October promises to be a much drier month. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says much of the state got dumped on by rainclouds during this month, especially parts of south-central Iowa.
Allerton, along the Missouri border, had more than 16 inches of rain during September, putting the town over 60 inches for the year, what Hillaker says is “a pretty amazing total.” The statewide average was around 5.5 inches of rain for the month, which is about 2 inches above normal.
The month ends as the 19th wettest Iowa September in 138 years of record keeping, while we’re already in the 9th wettest Iowa year on record — and there are still three months left. As far as the temperatures, Hillaker says Iowa was almost spot on normal for September.
The month was only slightly warmer than normal, with a statewide average about seven-tenths of one degree above usual.
For October, Hillaker says tractors and combines likely won’t be getting stuck in the mud during the harvest this time around, as they did last year. He predicts the month ahead will be drier than normal or right about normal, which means only about two-and-a-half inches of rain statewide.
As for temperatures, the best bet is for a warmer-than-normal month ahead, as there have already been seven such warmer-than-normal months in a row. Hillaker says the La Nina weather pattern we’re in globally makes it likely the warming trend will continue. Still, beware, as the first frost in Iowa usually arrives during October.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City