Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Forecasters predict warmer, drier spring and summer ahead

(Radio Iowa) - New climate outlooks being issued show a warm and dry trend for Iowa and for much of the country this spring and well into summer. Climatologist Pat Guinan, who moderated the monthly North Central Region climate update for the National Weather Service, says the warming pattern will start in April.

"It does look like above-normal temperatures are anticipated across all of the NWS central region," Guinan says, "and below-normal precip is in the cards, at least according to the forecasters."

Guinan says the next 90 days shows warm conditions spreading.

"We see a lot of the country covered in above-normal temperatures for the April-May-June period," Guinan says, "We see below-normal precipitation indicated, not good, when you consider much of the western half of the country is still experiencing some form of drought."

The latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of northern and western Iowa is abnormally dry, with some areas ranging from moderate to severe to extreme drought. As the La Nina pattern fades, Guinan says the summer forecast indicates continued warm, dry weather.

"All of the Corn Belt, we're forecasting a slight enhanced likelihood of above-normal temperatures this summer," Guinan says. "That dryness has shifted a little bit toward the north and northeast for the summer, for below-normal precipitation with the highest likelihood extending through the Dakotas, western Minnesota, northwest Iowa, all of Nebraska and northern Kansas."

In the short term, Guinan says the expectation is for moderate to heavy rain much of this week across Iowa and into the central United States.

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