May 2018 is the warmest on record


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NOAA details notable climate events for May 2018 (NOAA)

Eden DeWald | June 6th, 2018

May 2018 is the warmest month of May ever recorded in the United States according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It broke the long held record, which was set back in 1934, during the Dust Bowl. The average temperature recorded in May 2018 was 65.4 degrees, compared to the 64.7 degree average from May 1934.

However, temperatures didn’t just increase on the average, 8,590 daily record breaking highs were set across the United States. Including a notable 100 degree temperature spike for Minneapolis on May 28th, which is the earliest date that a triple digit temperate has been reached for Minneapolis.

Precipitation records for May 2018 also paint a curious picture. The May 2018 average precipitation of 2.97 inches is slightly above the general May average of 2.91 inches. However, more than one-fourth of the United States landmass were under drought conditions. Some areas even experienced record breaking precipitation, such as Florida and Maryland. This data aligns with recent information from NASA, which foresees wet areas getting wetter and dry areas becoming drier due to a combination of human impact, natural water cycles, and climate change.

 

 

Water levels reach historic lows at Saylorville Lake


Photo by Rastoney, Flickr.
Photo by Rastoney, Flickr.

Continuous drought conditions have reduced Saylorville Lake to its lowest recorded levels since 1989.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers’ website, the lake is currently at 832.19 feet – just below the 1989 record of 832.23 feet.

For more information, read the full article at the Des Moines Register.

Des Moines nears record for longest stretch without snow


Photo by jakebouma, Flickr
Photo by jakebouma, Flickr

Des Moines last saw measurable snowfall on March 4th, and unless some unlikely flurries appear tomorrow, the city will break its record for consecutive days without measurable snow.

The previous record of 277 days was set in 1889, and meteorologists say that it’s about to be broken.

“There’s no snow in the next three days, so it’s looking very very likely, unless something comes up, that we’ll beat that record,” National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Skow said.

For more information, read the full article at the Des Moines Register.

Year’s hottest day prompts record energy usage


Photo by Tessss, Flickr.

Alliant Energy reported record-breaking peak energy usage on Wednesday, the hottest day so far in Iowa’s abnormally hot summer.

The peak usage of 3,724 megawatts occurred at 5pm in Alliant’s “West Control Area,” which covers Iowa and Minnesota. The previous record of 3,699 megawatts was set on July 18th, 2011.

“A number of days with high energy usage this summer remind us that an ample supply of electric generation is critical for our customers today and in the future,” said Tom Aller, president of Interstate Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy.

For more information, read the full article at The Gazette.

Iowa hits record ethanol production


An ethanol plant in Iowa. Photo by Hendrixson, Flickr.

Iowa’s 41 ethanol plants produced a record 3.7 billion gallons in 2011, a 200 million gallon increase from 2010. Monte Shaw, Executive Director of Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, largely attrbitues this rise to exports.

“2011 was certainly a good year for Iowa ethanol producers with increased production and profitability,” said Shaw. “However, we relied on export markets for growth.”

Roughly 62 percent of Iowa’s 2010 corn harvest were used to produce the 3.7 billion gallons of ethanol.

For more information, view the full story at the Des Moines Register.