STEVE'S "WILD" WORLD OF WEATHER...
When I'm wondering about weather folklore and historical events this is the man I go to. With more than 50 years of statistical and observational research, he's the dude! When it comes to lunar cycles, woolly bear caterpillars, insects, bugs, and animals, he tracks them, records them, and establishes ties to weather patterns. Only one person takes climatology to a level like this. He's even earned a lifetime achievement award from the National Weather Service for his devotion to data and science. His name is Steve Gottschalk by way of Lowden, Iowa. He's a knowledgeable and interesting man. I'm grateful to him for lending his unique perspective to the site. Steve's "wild" world of weather can be found regularly right here on TSwails.com. Take it away Steve!
ARE THE JUNE TEMPERATURES CHANGING?
After researching through Iowa's temperature records that go back to 1873 here is what I found.
The 1870's - 1890's saw a gradual warming trend.
From 1900 -1909 temperatures cooled off by almost 2 degrees.
1910 - 1939 saw another warm up.
The 1940's saw the weather cool off.
The 1970's and 1980's were warmer.
From 1990 - 2009 the temperatures were slightly cooler.
Since 2010 it has been warmer.
The coolest decade was from 1900 - 1909 with an average of 67.7 degrees.
The 1930's were the warmest with 71.5 degrees.
Since 2020 the average temperature was 72.6.
TOP TEN WARMEST JUNE'S TOP TEN COOLEST JUNE'S
1. - 1933 - 77.6. 1. - 1945 - 64.0.
2. - 1934 - 77.0. 2. - 1916 - 64.3.
3. - 1911 - 75.5. 3. - 1903 - 64.4.
4. - 1971 - 75.0. 4. - 1915 - 64.9.
5. - 1931 - 74.9. 5. - 1902 - 65.0.
6. - 1956 - 74.7. 6. - 1951 - 65.2.
7. - 1921 - 74.5 7. - 1982 - 65.3.
7. - 1988 - 74.5. 8. - 1935 - 65.7.
8. - 1873 - 74.3. 9. - 1917 - 65.8.
9. - 1952 - 74.2. 10. - 1926 - 66.0.
EL NINO'S AND JUNE TEMPERATURES
I did some checking and found 13 years since 1950 when the La Nina was transitioning to El Nino. Of those 13 years, the following June tended to be warmer 7 of those times, cooler 4 of those times and near normal 2 times.
JUNE LUNAR WEATHER CALENDAR
1st - variable temps., rain and wind.
3rd - variable temps., chance of rain and wind.
5th-6th - warmer, rain and wind.
10th-11th - variable temps., rain and wind.
13th - variable temps., rain and wind.
18th - variable temps., rain and wind.
22nd - warmer, rain and wind.
26th - warmer, chance of rain and wind.
28th - variable temps., rain and wind.
As usual I ask for a 24 hour grace period on either side of these dates. During a drought or dry spell this can affect this type of forecast.
WERE THERE MORE NORTHERN LIGHTS IN THE 1800'S?
With the sun being very active now there has been a number of geomagnetic storms on it's surface that have resulted in a couple of displays of Northern Lights that has reached this far south. The first one was on March 24th which I didn't see on account of the clouds. The second one was on April 23rd which I was fortunate to observe. I saw 3 shades of blue and a little green low on the northern horizon.
While going through the historical data that I have collected over the years, I have noticed that the weather observers back in the 1870's and 1880's recorded a lot of observations on the aurora in Iowa. Here is what I found.
In 1874 the aurora were seen on 6 months of the year with a total of 14 days.
In 1875 the aurora were seen on 6 months of the year with a total of 11 days.
In 1876 the aurora were seen on 8 months of the year with a total of 19 days.
In 1877 the aurora were seen on 9 months of the year with a total of 24 days.
In 1878 the aurora were seen on 7 months of the year with a total of 17 days.
In 1879 the aurora were seen on 1 month of the year with a total of 1 day.
In 1883 the aurora were seen on 6 months of the year with a total of 13 days.
In 1884 the aurora were seen on 6 months of the year with a total of 11 days.
In 1885 the aurora were seen on 10 months of the year with a total of 17 days.
In 1886 the aurora were seen on 8 months of the year with a total of 21 days.
In 1887 the aurora were seen on 5 months of the year with a total of 12 days.
In 1888 the aurora were seen on 4 months of the year with a total of 4 days.
I checked the sunspot activity for these years and on 5 of those years the activity was quite low. Back in those earlier days when there was no light pollution, was it easier to see them than it is now?
SOME AURORA WEATHER LORE
"Aurora are almost invariably followed by stormy weather in from 10 to 14 days."
"The aurora when very bright, indicates an approaching storm."
JUNE'S FULL MOON AND THE WEATHER
The Full Strawberry Moon is on the 3rd. I have found that you will see some rain within 24 hours of this occurrence, 72% of the time.
SOME EASTERN IOWA HISTORICAL WEATHER EVENTS
June 1, 1837 - The first documented tornado in Iowa history occurred in Henry County.
June 2, 1980 - several rounds of severe thunderstorms hit far S. and S.E. Iowa. The first storm dropped 2" diameter hail in Van Buren and Lee counties during the early morning hours. The second storm produced more heavy rain in Van Buren, Lee and Des Moines counties. The water rose to 6 feet deep in the roads at Happy Hollow near Ft. Madison carrying cars into the creeks and flooded first floor rooms in many homes.
June 3, 1860 - The Comanche Tornado. Two separate tornadoes were seen west of Cedar Rapids, 7 miles apart. They merged in western Clinton County to form a 1/2 mile funnel that killed 16 people south of DeWitt then went on to kill at least 26 persons and injured another 150+ persons in Comanche which was virtually wiped out.
June 4, 1844 - Two powerful tornadoes swept through eastern Iowa into Illinois. One tornado moved across Clinton County near the north edge of DeWitt killing one person and injuring several others. The other tornado moved along the Muscatine - Scott county border killing one person and injuring several others north of Muscatine. These were the earliest killer tornadoes in Iowa.
June 4-5th, 1859 - cold weather resulted in widespread frost across the state during these 2 days. Showers of snow and sleet were reported. There was damage to gardens and crops.
June 6, 1980 - hail up to the size of baseballs was reported in Grundy County destroying crops and damaging cars and buildings along with stripping trees.
That's a wrap for this edition. On the "wild" side of weather, I'm Steve Gottschalk.