© 2019 Terry Swails

IT WON'T AMOUNT TO MUCH...

August 10, 2017

 

While it won't amount to much (at least in my local area) there is a chance of rain Thursday. Things have really dried up across my region the past 2 weeks but we are doing much better compared to other parts of Iowa. I was dumb-founded when I plotted the graphic below showing Iowa's rainfall since the beginning of the year. Near Ottumwa, in parts of Wapello and Monroe counties 8 month rainfall deficits of 17-18" are showing up. That is flat out remarkable. You have to miss out on almost everything to compile a deficit like that.

At the same time, not much more than 150 miles north you can see a surplus of nearly 34 inches in Chickasaw county around New Hampton. That's more than a 50" rainfall difference in eastern Iowa. I don't know that I've ever seen anything like that before!

 

Here's a larger perspective of the Midwest as a whole. The grid is much larger so you don't see the detail like you do on the above map.

The dryness really became and issue in SE and SC Iowa around the beginning of May when rain drops were few and far between. During roughly the past 3 months half of the 18" deficit around Ottumwa was compiled (-9.27").

July was especially bad, take a look at the graph below. In Ottumwa rain fell on only 4 days in July and the monthly departure was -4.50". 

Not only was it dry, it was hot with a July temperature departure of more than 3 degrees around Ottumwa. Dry and hot, a really bad combination for farmers in this part of the Hawkeye state.

Just for kicks, here's the July precip. plot for the Quad Cities which is less than 100 miles from Ottumwa and the core of the drought. There were only 3 more days in July with rain but amounts in the QCA were 6" greater. That's a fine line!

The big question now is when and where do the rains fall next. Here's what the GFS shows for 10 day rainfall totals.

The EURO has this for 8 days.

The Weather Prediction Center has this for 7 days.

They all point to the same thing, another dry week for the hardest hit drought areas of the Midwest. Roll weather...TS

 

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