“Overall averaged out to about one degree cooler than usual for the state as a whole — although there were some parts of far south and southwest Iowa that were just barely above normal for the month. We certainly did have some periods — especially toward the middle of the month — that were certainly very hot and humid,”Hillaker says.
While some of those days produced very high heat indices, none of the warmer periods pushed the actual air temperature into triple digits. “Ninety-seven degrees was the highest reading we had in the state in several different places on several different dates scattered throughout the month, mostly in the middle portion of July,” according to Hillaker. “On the other extreme, all the way down to 44 degrees on the second and third of the month in some parts of northern Iowa.”
It’s too early to tell, but Hillaker says July will likely end up being the warmest month of the year. “That would be the case probably 80 percent of the time. Last year we had an unusually cool July, and August was actually our warmest month of the summer — but usually it is July,” Hillaker says. Some of the cooler weather was a result of rain clouds over the state. “For the state as a whole, it was on the wet side of normal. Statewide average rainfall was 5.71 inches, which is about an inch-and-a-quarter more than usual for July,” Hillaker explains. “It ranks 19th wettest in 143 years of records. Have to go back five years, July of 2010, to find a wetter July in the state.” His numbers are a statewide average, and blend together the highs and lows.
“Some parts of northwestern and also northeast Iowa were actually much drier than usual. Dubuque for example, just 1.2 inches of rain there,” Hillaker says. “But on the other hand, much of southern Iowa had a very, very wet month. Knoxville had 13.33 inches of rain during July, which was their second wettest July at Knoxville in 122 years of records there.” As we head into the last four months of the calendar year, Hillaker says there’s only one month that stands out for unusual temperatures.
“Year-to-date, temperatures running just a little bit cooler than normal, not greatly so. And most of that because of a really cold February…all the other months have been pretty close to normal. A few degrees above, a few below, but nothing greatly out of the ordinary, other than February,” Hillaker says. He says there’s not a lot of unusual numbers when it comes to rainfall either. “We’re running about an inch-and-a-half of rainfall above normal for this point in the year. All of that surplus, for the most part just coming during July. But overall, pretty close to normal on the rainfall end of things as well,” Hillaker says.
He says early projections are for August to be a little cooler than normal.