(Area) Holiday shopping is in full swing but thankfully the winter weather is not…at least not yet.
As the calendar flips to December at the end of the week, state climatologist Harry Hillaker notes that history tells us northern Iowa experiences a white Christmas 2/3 of the time while southern Iowa has snow on the ground for the holidays about 1/3 of the time.
Hillaker says Atlantic falls somewhere in the middle,
“Roughly about a 40% chance based on past christmas events.”
The main storyline during this drought year continues to be the below average precipitation.
"Basically still a bit on the dry side. September and November both quite a bit lower than normal. October was a little bit better than usual."
However, this year is still not on pace to finish in the top 10 driest years on record. The above average temperatures, bolstered by a record warm May, could test the record books.
“April, May, and July had well abover normal temperatures. The last four months have been closwer to normal. It will probably be in the top five as far as warmest years, but not quite a record.”
Hillaker says the extended forecast features above normal temperatures and dry conditions next week with the following week showing wetter conditions than normal.