Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, yesterday released the October weather summary. For the state of Iowa, the past month was the wettest October since 1984 and the fourth wettest October on record. It was also the warmest October since 1973, but only the twentieth warmest October among the 135 years of records.
Iowa received a statewide average of 5.18 inches of precipitation during the month, which is 2.66 inches above normal. The rains came primarily during the first 18 days of the month. The final 12 days were very dry, with a statewide average of only .03 inches. There was no snowfall recorded statewide, which makes it the first snowless October since 1998 and only the 16th time in the 121 years of state snowfall records.
Warmer than normal temperatures also prevailed across the state for the most part during October 2007, with only eight days averaging cooler than usual.
Already one of the wettest years on record
Iowa had a fairly wet spring, and August 2007 was the wettest August on record in Iowa. “Now through October, Iowa has received 40.64 inches of precipitation so far this year, which is 9.93 inches above average and already surpasses our average yearly precipitation total of 34.08 inches,” says Hillaker.
The 40.64 inches is also the third most year-to-date precipitation since Iowa weather records were first kept in 1873. Only 1993 (46.30 inches) and 1881 (40.91 inches) saw more precipitation during the first 10 months of the year.
The weather statewide this year has certainly proved the old saying that if you don’t like the weather in Iowa, just wait. While the heavy rains early in October certainly caused problems, the dry weather Iowa farmers have enjoyed the last couple of weeks has allowed fields to dry out and harvesting has resumed. It looks like the weather will stay fairly dry for at least a little while longer, so that should allow farmers to finish the harvest in a timely manner.