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La Nina pattern starts to fade, hot & dry summer may be ahead

Ames, IA – Forecasters say one of the major climate drivers for Iowa and much of North America should fade as summer approaches. Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the U-S-D-A’s Midwest Climate Hub, says it appears the “La Nina” pattern is already starting to shift away.

A La Nina occurs when Pacific Ocean surface temperatures cool and it has an impact on weather across much of the continent. Todey says forecast models indicate the weather pattern may make a reappearance later this year.

Forecasters are predicting Iowa will experience a summer that’s both warmer-than-normal and drier-than-normal, though Todey says some of the pattern’s effects may linger.

The latest report from the U-S Drought Monitor shows parts of northwestern Iowa ranging from moderate to severe drought. Todey says he expects the long-term trend to favor warmer, drier conditions across the region this spring and through summer.

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