Wetter than average March leads into hope for lots of April showers

DES MOINES — State Climatologist Justin Glisan says March saw a turnaround after what was the third-driest February on record. “A statewide average of about a half an inch above normal, so definitely good rain totals across much of the state, particularly in Western Iowa where we sell anywhere from 200 to 300 percent of normal,” Glisan says.

Glisan says the March precipitation helped some in battling what has been 196 days of moderate drought being reported somewhere in the state. “So seeing increased rainfall and some snowfall in March really helped improve soil moisture conditions,” he says. “And we did see a one category improvement in the previous Drought Monitor map last week for western Iowa. So, seeing good, good outcomes out there with the wetter conditions we’ve been seeing.”

Temperatures in March were also a little above normal. “On the temperature side about 4.6 degrees above average, with an average temperature of 41 degrees,” Glisan says. He says the current outlook shows some good chances for April showers. “A very strong signal for warmer temperatures getting into the middle of April along with an elevated signal for wetter conditions, which meshes well with the overall temperature and precipitation outlooks for April with higher chances of warmer temperatures and then that elevated signal for wetter conditions across much of the state,” Glisan says.