Jul 26, 2023

Temperatures in upper 90s in central Iowa forecast for weekend

Last week's heat wave ended with a mercifully cooler weekend, but another is on the way just in time for Labor Day, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service is calling for highs in the 80s through Thursday, but then a sharp spike into the mid-to-upper 90s Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, there appears to be little expectation of a return of the record temperatures and steamy humidity of the past week.

"This round of heat does not appear as oppressive as what just occurred over Iowa," the agency's forecast guidance says. It added that the moisture wafting from the Gulf of Mexico and "low level moisture from the crops," i.e. corn sweat, is diminishing, so "the dew points should be much lower resulting in much improved heat index value."

The lack of humidity has a downside. The only rain in central Iowa last week was a brief downpour on Friday, and the Thursday edition of the U.S. Drought Monitor showed extreme drought taking hold in Waterloo's home county, Blackhawk, and parts of five other Iowa counties north and west of it. It also showed a spot of extreme drought developing on the eastern edge Allamakee County in far northeast Iowa.

They joins an area of extreme drought that developed in southeast Iowa in June, and a persistent though diminished area of extreme drought that's hung on in the Sioux City area since late June 2022.

The weather service is forecasting no chance of rain in central Iowa.