Preliminary Weather Summary

Written by Theresa Rose on May 7, 2019


Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship


An active rainfall pattern brought unseasonable wetness across southeastern Iowa over the reporting period with measurable rain reported every day; the highest totals were along the Iowa – Illinois border. The rest of Iowa was near normal to around an inch below average. Statewide average temperatures were also unseasonably cool.


Showers and thunderstorms swept across Iowa late Sunday (28th) evening and exited Iowa during the morning on Monday (29th). An isolated severe thunderstorm quickly moved from southeast Iowa into central Iowa, leaving behind dime to quarter sized hail from Madison to Polk counties on Sunday evening. Late in the day on Monday into Tuesday (30th), a low pressure system propagated through the state. The low brought a widespread area of moderate rainfall over the southeastern third of Iowa for much of the day. Rain totals through 7:00 am Wednesday (May 1st) exceeded one inch at 21 stations with Burlington (Des Moines County) reporting 2.94 inches; three other stations observed totals above two inches. As the low moved out of the state, rain showers formed across northwestern Iowa and remained into the early morning hours of Thursday (May 2nd). Average high temperatures over this period were in the upper 40s to low 50s, 10 – 15 degrees below average.


Compared to the beginning of the week, Friday (3rd) through Sunday (5th) was generally pleasant with spotty areas of rain each day. The weekend began with a light rain moving across portions of west-central Iowa before they dissipated late morning on Saturday (4th). Under sunny to partly cloudy conditions, highs were in the upper 60s to low 70s, with light winds. Rain showers moved through the same regions late Saturday into Sunday, while overnight lows remained in the low to mid 50s. Weekend rainfall totals were highest in the western part of the state with light accumulations into central Iowa; Des Moines (Polk County) reported 0.03 inches while Underwood (Pottawattamie County) observed 0.62 inches.


The statewide average precipitation for the week was above the average of 0.98 inches at 1.15 inches. Temperatures also averaged 50.6 degrees, 4.4 degrees below normal. The week’s high temperature of 75 degrees was observed in Atlantic (Cass County) and Little Sioux (Harrison County) on the 4th, six degrees warmer than average. Fayette (Fayette County) reported the week’s low temperature of 25 degrees on the 29th, 15 degrees below average. Rainfall totals ranged 0.21 inches in Dakota City (Humboldt County) to 4.41 inches in Salem (Henry County); 10 National Weather Service Co-op stations reported totals above four inches.