2012 vs 2018 Droughts

Another heat wave is tracking into Iowa this weekend which may have you wondering how many days we’ve seen 90° or higher?

Waterloo typically reaches 90° or higher around 21 days a year. This is based on the average from 1895 to 2018. Below shows how many times Waterloo has hit 90° or more in the past 10 years, including this year.

MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEP Total
2008 0 1 3 0 0 4
2009 0 3 0 1 0 4
2010 2 0 3 5 0 10
2011 1 5 10 3 1 20
2012 2 7 21 10 3 43
2013 1 1 9 6 3 20
2014 0 0 1 3 1 5
2015 0 1 2 1 3 7
2016 0 5 1 1 1 8
2017 0 8 3 0 6 17
2018 4 7 3 14

It’s obvious to note that 2012 was an extreme year. Most of July saw 90°+ days , 5 days were 100° or more. 2012 was also the year we saw a flash drought develop across the Midwest. A flash drought is when an area sees high temperatures and rapidly decreasing soil moisture in a short amount of time. Many farmers compared the drought to the one that happened in the 80s. July 2012 only recorded 0.76″ of rain (normal: 4.91″). Below is the extent of the drought in 2012.

100% of the state was in severe drought conditions and 30.75% of that was in extreme drought conditions. To compare to 2018, 11% of the state in currently in moderate drought conditions and 0.84% is in extreme drought conditions.

Unfortunately, little rain is in the forecast over the next 7 days along with warmer than normal temperatures. The drought will likely continue to expand across southern Iowa.

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Posted under Climate, Drought

This post was written by Schnack on August 3, 2018

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