Preliminary Weather Summary

Written by Theresa Rose on May 14, 2019


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


Cooler than normal conditions experienced during the first part of May continued through this reporting period. Average temperatures were eight to ten degrees cooler than average in northwestern Iowa with four to six degree departures over the rest of the state. Wetter than normal conditions were observed in western and northern Iowa with the highest rainfall totals in southwestern Iowa.


Isolated thunderstorms swept across Iowa on Sunday (5th) afternoon into Monday (6th) morning along a cold front moving through the state. There were two reports of one-inch hail in Callender (Webster County) and Elkader (Clayton County). Monday afternoon into evening saw widespread showers and thunderstorms associated with a low pressure system moving through northern Missouri. The highest accumulation reported at 7:00 am Tuesday (7th) morning was 2.11 inches at Keokuk Lock and Dam (Lee County). The average statewide rainfall total was 0.25 inches. High temperatures ranged from the mid to upper 50s west and north to low 70s in the southeast corner of Iowa. Tuesday and Wednesday (8th) marked the wettest period of the week as another low pressure system brought ample rainfall to Iowa. Over 70 stations reported two-day rain totals above 1.00 with all remaining stations reporting measurable rain; the average statewide rain accumulation was 0.63 inches. Little Sioux (Harrison County) observed 2.15 inches.


Thursday (9th) was the coldest day of the week as cold air wrapped around the exiting low pressure. Daytime highs averaged 50 degrees statewide, 20 degrees below average. Cresco (Howard County) observed a high of 44 degrees, 23 degrees below average. Overnight lows into Friday (10th) were 10 degrees below average, at 36 degrees. Mostly sunny and cooler conditions prevailed on Friday with light variable winds generally out of the north and west. Rain showers moved through parts of Iowa over the weekend, with both days experiencing measurable totals. Saturday (11th) began with light showers moving into southern and eastern Iowa before dissipating in the afternoon. Another line of light to moderate showers entered western Iowa ahead of a slow moving cold front. The line continued across the state into Sunday (12th) with most western stations reporting totals between 0.25 inches to under an inch; Denison (Crawford County) reported 0.80 inches. Weekend highs were in the low to mid 50s, 10 to 20 degrees below average.


Weekly rainfall totals ranged from 0.38 inches in Davenport (Scott County) to 2.90 inches in Shenandoah (Page County). The statewide average precipitation for the week was slightly above the average of 1.00 inches at 1.20 inches. Temperatures also averaged 51.2 degrees, around seven degrees below normal. The week’s high temperature of 80 degrees was observed at Keokuk Lock and Dam (Lee County) on the 6th, nine degrees warmer than average. Sibley (Osceola County) reported the week’s low temperature of 30 degrees on the 10th, 13 degrees below average.