Despite spotty rain the past week the drought continues to worsen over southern Iowa. The latest drought monitor was issued Thursday and parts of 8 counties have been upgraded from severe to extreme drought conditions.
71 percent of Iowa is considered abnormally dry and 60 percent of the state suffers from moderate to extreme drought conditions. One year ago only 14% of the state was considered abnormally dry.
These are the rainfall deficits since April 1st when the drought really began to rear its head.
Here in Cedar Rapids (at the airport) only 2 of 17 days this August have had measurable rain and the monthly total of .43" is roughly 2" below normal.
In the Quad Cities (Davenport specifically) August rain has amounted to just 0.12" and the monthly deficit is over 2.6"
If the long range models are on target, some relief is likely in the coming weeks. The mean of the EURO ensemble weeklies is showing this for 46 day rainfall totals.
The control run of the weeklies is even more bullish over that 46 day period.
Our medium range models are also showing the wetter trend. Here's the 10 day rainfall forecasts by the EURO and GFS.
First the EURO:
Now the GFS: (FYI-This run was very aggressive and not likely to verify.)
The folks at the Climate Prediction Center are not as impressed with the medium range rain potential showing this for 6-10 rainfall departures.
With the clouds and rain the models are depicting the next few weeks, temperatures are likely to stay cooler than normal. The EURO weekly ensemble mean has this for a temperature forecast through October 2nd.
As we all know, long range outlooks have their pitfalls but it would be nice if the rains would come, especially where they are needed most. Roll weather and have a spectacular weekend...TS