National Weather Service Meteorologist Craig Cogill says the warm temperatures last month followed Iowa’s coldest-ever April on record.
What a switch we had from April, someone turned up the thermostat,” Cogill said. “We saw (temperatures) well above normal across the entire state, especially over the second half of the month when readings were 10 to 20 degrees above normal.”
Highs climbed above 100 in some locations over the Memorial Day weekend. In Iowa’s capital city, the temperature last Saturday reached 96. That broke Des Moines’ previous record for the date – 93 – set in 1985. In addition to unusual heat, many areas of Iowa were soaked by heavy rains in May. Sections of southeast Iowa, meanwhile, remained mostly dry.
“We did see precipitation remain below normal down around Ottumwa, Bloomfield – locations that have seen dry conditions over the last two years or so,” Cogill said. “There are concerns about drought developing or increasing in those locations, especially given the warmth that we saw during (May).”
High temperatures are expected in the 90s across much of Iowa again today. The anticipated conditions are much different than they were on this date 129 years ago. On June 1, 1889, unseasonably cold weather settled across Iowa. In Des Moines, a low of 37 was reported, which remains the all-time June record for the state’s largest city.