The La Nina weather pattern is gone, and the National Climate Prediction Center anticipates an El Nino will develop within a few months, which could be welcome news for Iowa farmers. Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub, based in Ames, says El Ninos typically mean a decent growing season for our region, while the extra rainfall could help to knock down the long-running drought.
While the La Nina lasted for three years, he say the switch to an El Nino pattern is coming on much faster than expected.
Wide areas of Iowa have suffered with drought, and this weather shift could provide some much-needed relief.
Far Western Iowa’s Monona and Woodbury counties are in the worst category — exceptional drought, while much of Iowa’s western half is either rated in moderate, severe or extreme drought, while broad sections of central and eastern Iowa are listed as abnormally dry.