Iowa’s weather during May was on the cool, wet side. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says temperatures were widely varied during the month, with a low of 27 degrees in Cherokee on May 2nd and a high of 94 in two cities, Little Sioux on the 8th and Shenendoah on the 15th.

“Temperature wise, we ended up averaging just slightly below normal, not quite one-degree cooler than usual for May,” Hillaker says. “We had a cool first few days of the month and a cool last week-and-a-half and rather warm in between, but averaging out just a little bit on the cool side.” Many farmers had a difficult time getting into their fields to plant during May as the continued rains left many acres muddy or underwater.

“On rainfall, the statewide average was not quite 5 inches of rainfall, roughly a half-inch greater than usual for the month of May,” Hillaker says. “Much of the state was near-normal to above-normal for rainfall with the exception of parts of southeast and east-central Iowa, which only got about half the normal amount of rainfall during the month of May.” The wettest part of the state during May was west-central Iowa where some areas had almost twice the usual amount of rain. May and June are typically the busiest months of the year for severe weather and this May was on target. While there were several scattered severe storms, there was a three-day run of them May 15th, 16th and 17th.

“We had three consecutive evenings where we had widespread severe weather, the biggest of those being the final one which came on the 17th,” Hillaker says. “We had severe weather reports of either high winds or large hail from over half of Iowa’s counties, 55 of the 99 counties reported severe storms on that one evening.” As to the month ahead, June will start out hot with highs in the 90s expected in southwest Iowa, though a cool front should arrive next week which may persist and keep temperatures somewhat lower than normal well into mid-month. The first day of summer is June 21st.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)