2010 Makes History for Rainfall

While weather is often the number one coffee shop talk, there was good reason it dominated so many conversations last year.  The year 2010 goes down as the second wettest year in Iowa’s state history.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker recently compiled a list of the top 10 weather stories for 2010, which began as the coldest winter since 1979.  The first 12 days of January 2010 averaged 16 degrees below normal.  Then in June 2010, persistent rain fall produced a new record high statewide average monthly precipitation total with 10.34 inches. This broke the previous June record of 10.33 inches, which was set in 1947 and was second only to July 1993 with 10.50 inches.  Very wet conditions prevented extremely high temperatures during the summer. However, temperatures averaged warmer than normal on all but 24 of the 91 days of summer, resulting in Iowa’s warmest summer since 1988 and the 19th warmest summer among the state’s 138 years of records.

The unseasonably warm and dry fall weather allowed Iowans to complete one of fastest harvests on record.  Precipitation averaged only 25% of normal from late September through early November while temperatures averaged 3.4 degrees above normal. The 2010 harvest was a huge contrast to 2009 when Iowa endured its coolest October in 84 years and its wettest October since 1881. This year, nearly all soybeans and 97% of the corn crop were harvested by the end of October as compared to 54% of the soybeans and 18% of the corn in 2009.

To read Iowa’s Top 10 Weather-Related Events for 2010, click here for the complete article.