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Severe weather brings damage, but also much-needed rains

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In Iowa, we’re no stranger to severe weather and elevated temperatures that can bring damage and add stress to our crops. However, we also rely on those severe weather events to bring much of the rain for the crops. At this time of year, an important balance needs to be struck- we need the severe weather events to bring the rain, but we don’t need the weather to be so severe that it destroys parts of our crops.

Some of those severe weather events that we’ve grown more accustomed to seeing are derechos. A few weeks ago, we saw some heavy straight-line winds come through Iowa from South Dakota. But was it enough to be classified as a derecho? Iowa State Climatologist Dr. Justin Glisan said there are several criteria to consider when classifying a derecho, and this storm met those conditions.

As we saw last year, the lack of thunderstorms created a lack of rainfall and, thus, a drier climate. However, Glisan said we should see wetter conditions soon, and we’ve already seen decent storms this year.

Right now, we really want to see some rain, especially in the parts of the state that are either already in drought or are heading there soon. Glisan said that we don’t just need the rain for this year; the sub-soil profile needs to be restored so we can be ready to go next year too.

Glisan also took a look into his “crystal ball” for what weather we can expect going forward.

For more information, visit https://iowaagriculture.gov/climatology-bureau.

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