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July was cooler and drier than normal


August 1st, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Weather records show July is the warmest month of the year in Iowa, but state climatologist Justin Glisan says the month that just ended went against the norm. “The average temperature was about 72 degrees and that’s about one and a half degrees below average. So we’re looking at 151 years of records for the state, most likely in the top 30 coolest July’s on record,” Glisan says. Glisan says it wasn’t glove and jacket weather in July.

“Not exceedingly cold but definitely given that it’s the warmest month in expectation — noteworthy that it’s below average — especially the north western half of the state,” he says. “We did have a few days at the end of the month in which we saw 90 degree temperatures we had a one reading in 101 degrees in Keokuk, so we did get some ones at the end, but overall a cooler month.” July did continue the overall dry conditions we saw in May and June, but some areas did get a good dose of rain.

“If you look at the eastern and western borders of the state, we did see some stations with above average rainfall, but overall across the rest of the state departures in the driest part of the state, north central Iowa anywhere from two to three inches below average,” Glisan says. “So you look at the overall statewide average, about three-point-one (3.1) inches preliminarily, and that’s about an inch, inch point, one below average, so 78 percent of normal.” The storms that rolled through with rain made an impact.

“We have seen some widespread precipitation events in July that actually helped improve drought conditions especially in western Iowa and then portions of …northeastern Iowa,” he says. Glisan says the early outlook for August shows some potential for above average rainfall.