June ranked Iowa’s fourth wettest month in 141 years

Nick Fetty | July 11, 2014
The Skunk River near White Oak in Polk County on July 2, 2014. Photo by Carl Wycoff; Flickr
The Skunk River near White Oak in Polk County on July 2, 2014.
Photo by Carl Wycoff; Flickr

Last month’s recorded rainfall in Iowa was nearly ten inches, making it the fourth wettest month the state has seen since accurate records started being kept in 1873.

The week of June 15th saw rainfall levels nearly three times above average and later in month a Cedar Rapids teenager died after flash floods swept him into a storm sewer. Heavy rainfall led to flash flooding particularly in the central and eastern portions of the state while farmers in western Iowa saw damage to their crops caused by storms.

The Coralville Reservoir crested at 708.2 feet above sea level earlier this week and levels are expected to return to normal if weather cooperates. The University of Iowa has spent about $4 million on measures to protect university property while the City of Iowa City has spent more than $500,000. These figures do not include damage estimates.

The wettest year on record in Iowa was 1993 which saw 48.22 inches of rain. This led to flooding across the state, particularly Des Moines where about 250,000 residents were without water for as long as two weeks.

To monitor weather and water levels in your area, use the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS).

On the Radio: In Iowa, Climate Change has far Reach

Graphic source: Wikimedia Commons

Listen to this week’s radio segment on some of the less talked about affects of climate change in Iowa.

The times, they are a-changin’ in Iowa. Or at least the weather patterns are.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Researchers from Iowa’s three public universities have detailed in a report the many ways Iowa’s climate has changed over the past decades.

Their study shows that: Rainfall has been greater and more extreme, river and stream flows have increased, nights and winters have warmed up, and our growing seasons have stretched longer. Continue reading