Iowa weather trends predict dry summer

Published: Feb. 28, 2017 at 7:15 AM CST
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Iowa weather this year has been abnormal, February 2017 is one of the warmest and has had the most days 70 degrees or higher temperatures on record. Most, if not all, of the frost in the state is gone because of that, which could be good for the dry south parts of Iowa as the subsoil moisture levels can replenish faster during spring.

However, the weather right now could predict what the summer's going to look like.

Iowa State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says, "Generally speaking, warmer than normal spring, warmer than normal summer, is better than 50/50 odds following a February like this. Doesn't guarantee that would be the case. But oddly enough, April and July have most often been warmer than normal for those two months, following an unusually mild February like this one."

The La Nina weather event is officially over, Hillaker says it wasn't a strong event and his best guess is it will stay neutral this year. A place between La Nina and El Niño, but by the end of the year El Niño is the most likely event to take place.

Looking for Iowa trends, Hillaker says the last La Nina event ended in early 2012. The same year as a massive drought. That year there was also a mild winter. But a big difference between then and now is 2016 was a very wet year. With the exception of southern parts of the state, there is good soil moisture going into 2017 spring and summer.