State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says this month has been unusually cool for Iowa.
“Not all the numbers are in yet, but it looks like it will probably finish up the fifth coolest July on record in Iowa and that’s among the last 142 years of data,” Hillaker says. “So fifth out of 142 is obviously pretty unusual.”
Average temperatures in July have been about 4.5 degrees cooler than normal, “which isn’t really a lot, I’d guess you’d say when you first look at it, but during the summer months we just typically don’t really have that much variability from year to year as far as summer temperatures go, so that’s pretty unusual,” Hillaker says. “Oddly enough, though, 2009 ranks as our coolest July on record, so you only have to go back five years to find a cooler one than this one.”
Hillaker says so far, the summer of 2014 has been a “rather mild” one.
“There’s still quite a number of places over in northern and eastern Iowa that have yet to reach 90 degrees this year,” Hillaker says. “Still plenty of time for that to happen, but it hasn’t occured yet in places like Burlington and Cedar Rapids, Mason City, Dubuque and probably a number of other places as well.”
After a fairly wet June, rainfall has been sporadic and Hillaker says it’s been relatively dry for the past three to four weeks.
“Crops, for the most part, are progressing pretty well as far as seasonality, not really behind in development, so not any big negatives, I guess, on the cooler temperatures,” Hillaker says. “…We’d just like to see some more rainfall than what we’ve been getting.”
Far northern Iowa is “quite a bit dry” according to Hillaker, who says the statewide average for rainfall is more than an inch below what’s normal for July.