By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
The past reporting week brought much warmer and drier weather to Iowa. The coolest weather came on Sunday (17th) and Thursday (22nd) with daytime highs mostly in the 70’s. The warmest day in most areas was Tuesday (19th) with highs in the 80’s. Temperature extremes for the week varied from Friday (23rd) morning lows of 40 degrees at Cresco and Elkader to afternoon highs of 89 degrees at Sioux City on Tuesday and at Burlington and Donnellson on Wednesday. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged from 1 to 2 degrees above normal east to 4 to 5 degrees above normal west with a statewide average of 2.6 degrees above normal. Dry weather prevailed in most of Iowa on Sunday (18th), Wednesday (21st), Friday (23rd) and Saturday (24th). Light rain fell across the northeast two-thirds of the state on Monday and over the southwest one-third of Iowa on Thursday. Most of the week’s rain came with thunderstorms across central Iowa (roughly between I-80 and U.S. Highway 30) from Tuesday evening into early Wednesday morning. The Tuesday night storms brought damaging hail and/or high winds to 11 counties. Weekly precipitation totals varied from none at locations such as Rock Rapids, Mapleton, Rockwell City, Burlington and Fairfield to a maximum of 3.10 inches at the Ames Airport. The statewide average precipitation was 0.29 inches or only about one-fourth of the normal 1.05 inches. This was the lowest statewide total in ten weeks. Moderate to heavy rain fell across parts of west central and southwest Iowa during the second one-half of the Memorial Day weekend and will be included in next week’s report.