Climatologist: weekend rains barely put dent in drought
October 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
Most of Iowa got a good soaking last weekend, but it didn’t go far in terms of making up for the drought. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says far northwest Iowa didn’t receive any rain, while the heaviest downpours were scattered around the state. Areas of northeast Iowa, around New Hampton and Decorah, received three-and-a-half to four inches of rain. Similar rainfall totals were reported around Red Oak, Greenfield and Winterset in southwest Iowa, and near Centerville, Albia and Oskaloosa in southeast Iowa. In Atlantic, we received 1.93-inches of rain over the weekend.
Statewide, on average, the weekend system dumped one-and-a-half inches of rain. It marked the single biggest rainfall event in Iowa since early May. “This one event over the weekend was almost as big as what we had for the whole month of September,” Hillaker said. Despite the downpour, Hillaker notes we’re a long way from bringing an end to the 2012 drought.
“We’re still roughly eight-and-a-half inches below normal for the year to date, as far as statewide average,” Hillaker said. “We did trim about an inch off the deficit we had going before this last rain event. So, it’s not a huge impact as far as reducing our deficit, but it will have quite a positive impact on soil moisture levels.”