Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

September 9, 2013

Heat returns as Iowa closes record-breaking summer

MATT MILNER
Ottumwa Courier

OTTUMWA — OTTUMWA — Scorching heat is back, but forecasters think it will be short-lived.

Highs in Iowa could reach triple-digits. Such intense heat is very unusual for this time of year, but it has happened before. Ottumwa's forecast Monday morning was for a high of 100, just two degrees shy of the record for September 9.

The National Weather Service says much of Iowa will have near record highs Monday and the continuing drought means an elevated fire danger. There's a chance for rain in Tuesday night and Wednesday as the heat breaks, but it's not a strong chance.

Ottumwa has not seen measurable rain in more than a month, with the most recent rainfall on Aug. 6-7.

The lack of rain this summer has also led to a very, very short tornado season for Iowa. While tornadoes are still possible, the chances of such severe weather drop dramatically as the fall arrives.

The 2013 severe weather season could go down as the shortest in Iowa history. It began with the longest tornado drought in history. The record streak, which began in 2012, ended May 19 at 359 days.

Only 15 tornadoes have hit Iowa this year. If that holds, it would break the old record of 16 set in 2012. The 2013 tornado season will also have lasted a scant 38 days. The old record was 40 days set in (you guessed it) 2012.