May 16, 2024 Climate Outlook

May 16, 2024 5:11 PM

Key Points

  • Planting progress is slightly behind for both corn and soybeans because of frequent precipitation events.
  • Drought improvements continue across the state.
  • Precipitation will continue next week.

Past Weather

Globally, this April was the warmest April on record, and now the 11th consecutive month of record warmth. In Iowa, the past 30 days were around 3 degrees above normal. During mid-May, daily maximum temperatures are expected to be around 72 degrees and minimum temperatures are expected to be around 52 degrees. Both maximum and minimum temperatures in Iowa were warmer than average in April. Soil temperatures are close to normal, right around 60 degrees across the state.

The month of April was also wetter than normal. Northern and southern Iowa received more than 200% normal precipitation in the past 30 days. Around 1” per week of rain is expected during the spring. Much of Iowa has gotten more than 6” of rain in the past 30 days. Above average precipitation during the rainiest time of year helps alleviate some drought concerns. The greatest intensity of drought present in the state is severe drought (D2). Percent normal precipitation since May 2021 shows 70-90% of normal across the state, so long-term deficits are still in place.

Planting Progress

Large precipitation amounts and frequent precipitation events have slightly slowed planting progress. Planting progress is slightly behind the five-year average with corn 13% behind and soybeans 11% behind. Since some planting was possible earlier in the season, corn emergence is about 4% ahead of the five-year average.

Climate Outlook

Following the fairly dry weekend, another rainy week is expected in the next seven days, with more than 1” of rain expected across Iowa. All of Iowa falls under the Day 3-7 Hazard Outlook for heavy rain, valid May 19-23. Sunday into Monday poses a concern for most of the state and eastern Iowa is expected to be affected Monday into Tuesday. Flooding is possible in eastern Iowa with this system.

The Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day outlook (valid May 23-29) shows a slight chance for cooler than average temperatures in Iowa, but there are no concerns for cold hazards at this time. The greater concern is for continued wetness across the state with some chances of flooding in eastern Iowa. The outlook for June shows equal chances for warmth or cooling, and slight signal for precipitation.

Quantitative precipitation map for the US. Iowa expecting 1 inch or more of rain in the next 7 days.

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