OTTUMWA — Thunderstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday brought Ottumwa back up to normal rainfall levels for August, a welcome change in what has been a very dry summer.
The National Weather Service’s rainfall analysis puts Ottumwa near the night’s heaviest precipitation. The city officially received almost an inch of rain Tuesday night into Wednesday. In a normal year, Ottumwa sees 4.61 inches of rain during August. If Ottumwa stays on track, this would be the first month since April to see average rainfall.
In June and July, Ottumwa was a whopping 5.75 inches below normal for rainfall. That’s actually worse than in 2012, when drought was setting in for much of Iowa.
Ottumwa’s storms weren’t severe, though other parts of southeast Iowa saw damaging storms pass through. The National Weather Service reports hail an inch in diameter near Oskaloosa and Fairfield, a 59 mph wind gust at Sigourney. Knoxville and Pella narrowly missed the most extreme weather, when 2.5 inch hail hit in northern Marion County.
Most of the state has slipped back into abnormally dry conditions, the first stage of the U.S. Drought Monitor’s scale. While the rain will help, the impact on the map won’t be seen until next Thursday, since the cutoff for the data is 7 a.m. Tuesday.
There’s a chance of more rain tonight and tomorrow, though forecasters don’t believe it will amount to much.
The weekend should be clear and about five degrees below normal, with another slight chance of rain Sunday night.