(Des Moines) We are two months from the 2012 planting season and the “D” word is starting to pop up in conversations across the state. That’s right “Drought.” A senior forecaster for Accu-Weather, of State College, Pennsylvania says Iowa could be in a rare position this spring that could result in an extension of the dry spell that hit the state of Iowa starting at the end of July. In fact, some forecasters say the mild winter is mimicking that of the 1988 drought which sliced corn yields to 84-bushels an acre, 24-percent below the 1980’s average bushel per acre in that era.
Iowa State University Climatologist Elwynn Taylor says weather conditions this winter are similar to 1988, the last major drought in Iowa. Another similarity is heavy snows in Alaska.
However, there is a slight difference according Taylor. He notes in 1988, conditions occurred late in the spring, and continued through the summer. This year it has happened earlier, so one can hope that the drought conditions will leave earlier, and allow for some much needed summer rainfall.
Elwynn Taylor admits the global climate change theory is not the culprit for this year’s unusual weather.
January 30, 2012