Iowa state climatologist says growing season likely to start on the dry side

Muscatine County and the much of the rest of eastern Iowa is in the D1 moderate drought category on March 3, 2022.

By Filed Under: Crops, Iowa, News, weather

It appears most of Iowa will head into spring on the dry side.

State climatologist Justin Glisan tells Brownfield subsoil moisture is generally at or below 30 percent of full capacity coming out of what’s setting up to be the 15th driest winter on record.

“But we don’t get infiltration given that the soils are frozen, so looking at the fall we did have the eighth-wettest October on record. So we were able to refill some of the subsoil moisture profile, but we’re definitely going into the growing season drier than average.”

He suggests most farmers won’t complain if it’s dry during planting.

“But we want those seasonal rainfalls as we start to ramp up April, May and June, some of the wettest months of the season.”

Glisan says the weather outlook for March is for wetter conditions.  Longer-term, he says a weakening La Nina “puts the bullseye” for above-average precipitation over the Ohio Valley into Eastern Iowa with “equal-chance” precipitation for the rest of the state.