DES MOINES, Iowa — Heading into the spring of 2023, there was some optimism that central Iowa may be able to break the drought conditions across the state.
While improvements were made, it was still a dry spring overall.
May 2023 ended up being a very warm month, with temperatures about 3.5° above average. For the most part, the second half of the month was marked by temperatures well above normal, with highs near 90° several days.
The second half of May was also quite dry. Only 0.02″ of rain was recorded in the last two weeks of the month. Overall, the month ended up being around 2″ below normal for precipitation.
For the most part, this matched a trend that was in place through the spring. The month of March saw precipitation around an inch below normal (but a remarkable 10″ of snow), and April brought about an inch and a half less rain compared to normal.
The spring months were somewhat varied in the temperature department. March was a cool month, with temperatures averaging out to about two degrees cooler than normal. April was roughly a degree warmer than average.
While some improvements to drought conditions have been made, dry conditions have worsened in southern Iowa. In fact, Ottumwa saw four fewer inches of rain compared to normal during the month of May.
There are some signs southeastern Iowa may see slightly above average rain heading into the summer months, but only time will tell!