The Ottumwa Courier

October 18, 2012

Winter forecast warmer, drier than usual


OTTUMWA — An updated seasonal outlook released this morning holds little hope of Iowa's drought breaking any time soon.

The Climate Prediction Center released a seasonal drought outlook that runs through the end of January 2013. It doesn't make day-to-day predictions, focusing instead on long term trends. While some areas, notably Missouri and Illinois, will see improvement in drought conditions, forecasters don't think Iowa will.

A large swath of the country running roughly from Nevada and Arizona in the southwest through Minnesota and Wisconsin should see drought conditions persist. That's bad news for states where farmers have been hit hard by this year's drought.

The center also predicts a warmer and drier winter for Iowa. That's good news for people who want to avoid driving in the snow. But it also limits opportunities to get moisture into the ground.