Terry’s Take: Dust in the wind, another drought!
Back in 1999 the Quad Cities went 36 days with no rain. I was around for that but it was nothing compared to this stretch. The biggest difference was that the 1999 dry spell began in mid-October and ended around Thanksgiving. The growing season was pretty much over and temperatures were 20-50 degrees colder. Coming at a time of year when precipitation is much lighter to begin with, that dry spell really had minimal impacts.
Not the case this year! Late season heat, relentless sunshine, and a month of dry weather preceding this 36 day streak has toasted things like I’ve never seen before and I’m no spring chicken!
As you can see on the graphics severe drought has now expanded to cover most of southern Iowa, northern Missouri, and WC Illinois. You can also see the above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall of the past 30 days that have put us in this parched predicament. Yields are going down daily on crops in the drought areas and pastures are pretty much toast. Trees and bushes are really stressed as well. Hard to believe after the first 6 months of the year started as the wettest on record for the State of Iowa.
The new rainfall numbers from the Climate Prediction Center show little in the way of significant drought relief. However, the pattern does appear to be a bit more dynamic and that’s shown producing normal rainfall over the next 6-10 days. That and cooler temperatures would go a long way towards improving the disposition of area farmers!