Fields remained wet across most of Iowa during the week ending April 5, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Wet conditions slowed field work activities; however, there were reports of producers applying anhydrous, spreading manure and planting oats.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 22 percent surplus. Eight percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 5 days ahead of last year but 2 days behind the 5-year average.
Pastures and hay have started to green. Livestock conditions were generally good with calving going well for most cattle operations.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
Provided by Justin Glisan, Ph.D., State Climatologist
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Reports from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and maps from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center reflect data collected from 7:00 A.M. Central Time on March 30, 2020, through 7:00 A.M. Central Time on April 5, 2020.
Unseasonably dry conditions dominated Iowa during the reporting period. Only sections of south-central Iowa reported above average amounts. Deficits across much of the state were between 0.20 – 0.60 inch. Temperatures were near normal statewide with an average temperature of 43.0 degrees, 0.10 degrees below normal.
A strong low pressure system moving through the upper Midwest brought windy conditions through most of Sunday (29th). Winds remained brisk out of the northwest with clouds clearing as a weak high pressure system moved into southwest Iowa.
Daytime highs reached into the upper 50s in the southwest to upper 30s northwest. With high pressure dominating the region, winds calmed under clear skies into Monday (30th) morning. Temperatures during the day were well above normal with western Iowa reporting mid to upper 60s, eight to twelve degrees above average. The average statewide high was 61 degrees, seven degrees above normal. Warm and partly cloudy conditions continued into Tuesday (31st) with light and variable winds. Daytime highs were held to the mid 40s and low 50s along the Iowa-Illinois border, where cloud cover was present. Clear skies helped push highs into the mid 60s in southwestern Iowa. The pattern began to shift during the late-night hours through Wednesday (1st) as showers and a few thundershowers formed across northwestern Iowa. The complex moved through central and eastern Iowa before dissipating in the early afternoon hours. Strong southerly winds and clearing skies allowed highs to reach into the low 70s in southwest Iowa, while temperatures remained in the 50s in eastern Iowa; in between, stations reported 60s and sunny conditions. Overnight temperatures into Thursday (2nd) remained unseasonably warm with the average low at 37 degrees, four degrees above normal. Gusty southerly winds continued through the day as a warm front lifted north across Iowa. An area of showers formed across south-central Iowa in the afternoon and moved northeast in advance of a cold front across western Iowa. Two-day rain totals were generally under 0.20 inch, although Ottumwa Industrial Airport (Wapello County) and Lamoni Municipal Airport (Decatur County) reported totals of 0.71 inch and 0.48 inch, respectively. Statewide highs remained in the upper 50s and low 60s.
Winter weather returned on Friday (3rd) as another low pushed through Iowa. Northwest Iowa reported light snow and freezing rain with a transition across central Iowa. Southeastern Iowa reported all rainfall, as it was on the warmer side of the system. Measurable precipitation fell across most of Iowa with the highest totals in south-central Iowa; generally amounts were below 0.75 inch with Columbia (Marion County) reporting 0.80 inch. Snow totals ranged from a trace amount at multiple northwestern stations to 1.0 inch in Forest City (Winnebago County). High pressure moved in behind the low allowing skies to clear through Saturday (4th) afternoon. Highs reached into the upper 40s and low 50s, leading to a pleasant day across Iowa. Morning lows on Sunday (5th) were in the upper 20s and low 30s. Cloud cover in southeast Iowa held temperatures in the low 40s.
Weekly precipitation totals ranged from trace amounts at multiple stations to 1.33 inches at Lamoni Municipal Airport (Decatur County). The statewide weekly average precipitation was 0.25 inch while the normal is 0.65 inch. Red Oak (Montgomery County) reported the week’s high temperature of 76 degrees on the 1st; this reading was 18 degrees above average. Estherville Municipal Airport (Emmet County) reported the week’s low temperature of 13 degrees on the 4th, which is 18 degrees below normal. Four-inch soil temperatures were in the low to mid 40s as of Sunday.