Terry’s Take: Who turned off the rain machine?
2012 was a tough year for rain with much of the corn belt in a serious drought, for many the worst since the 1930s. Here in the Quad Cities, 2012 ended as one of the driest years on record with just 27.25″ of rain, a full 10.71″ below normal! That dismal showing firmly entrenched the Quad Cities and much of the surrounding Midwest into severe to extreme drought going into 2013.
With the advent of the new year, the tide turned and precipitation resumed with a resounding vengeance and frequency. April was the rainiest on record in Dubuque, Iowa and many other spots were close to setting records for wetness. The downpours continued into May and June. In May alone Burlington measured 11.5″ or rain with 8″ falling in the Quad Cities. So much rain fell in Iowa that the period January through June was the wettest in state history. In the Quad Cities, the Mississippi experienced 4 major crests through early summer. Planting across the corn belt was significantly delayed due to the cool wet weather and crops have been slow to mature ever since.
Burlington Iowa has not received measurable rain this month and has the potential to have the driest August on record (that’s a remarkable turn around from the May dousing of 11.50″). Moderate drought has now returned to much of Iowa and many other areas will soon experience similar conditions if the rains don’t materialize soon. Here are the latest rainfall deficits and rain conditions from around the region.