Relief From the Heat, Not From the Drought

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Today, Iowa is getting a little bit of good news. A cold front this afternoon is moving through the state, and bringing with it substantially cooler temperatures.  Mid 80’s doesn’t sound like much of a cool down, but that is a 10-15 degree drop and much closer to where we’re supposed to be this time of year.

Normally, when you hear cold front deep in the heart of summer you also think of thunderstorms.  But that’s not the case this time.  We could see an isolated storm try to pop up, especially later this evening.  But at this time it appears there is little hope of any widespread and/or heavy rainfall.

So although the heat stress will end for a while, the stress from a lack of moisture remains, and there’s no relief in sight.  As a result, Iowa’s drought will likely worsen, and conditions will begin to deteriorate at an even faster rate if/when that happens.

For those who don’t remember the great drought of 1988, I can tell you it was catastrophic.  No one’s house was destroyed like other types of natural disaster, but this one destroyed our food and our economy.  Well over $100 billion dollars worth of crops were lost in the U.S., making the drought of 1988 one of the costliest natural disasters in history.

Now no one wants to say this year will be worse, but the threat is there, much like a severe weather risk, the potential for a catastrophic drought is growing.  You’re likely going to hear an awful lot more about the drought in the coming days and weeks.  All we can do is hope the rains come, sooner rather than later.

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