JEFF STORJOHANN | DAILY TIMES HERALD<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Temperatures are expected to warm 10 degrees today from their 90-degree highs on Friday when Dan McCoy, of Smith Concrete, cut fresh pavement on East First Street in Glidden. The heat will slowly recede this week.
JEFF STORJOHANN | DAILY TIMES HERALD

Temperatures are expected to warm 10 degrees today from their 90-degree highs on Friday when Dan McCoy, of Smith Concrete, cut fresh pavement on East First Street in Glidden. The heat will slowly recede this week.
August 26, 2013



As unusual late-summer heat exacerbates a continued drought, the chance of rain in the coming week could decide the quality of many Iowa farmers' crops.

Meteorologists are encouraging people to drink lots of fluids and stay inside if possible as daily temperatures push 100 degrees, and farmers who had hoped for heat to help along late-planted crops are now watching for rain.

Today's predicted high in Carroll is 100 - the day's record going back to 1955. Tuesday's high is expected to be 99 degrees; the record for that day since 1955 is 102, said Brad Small, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Des Moines.

If the forecasted highs for this week are hit - going down each day until Friday, which has a projected high of 95 degrees - this will be the hottest final week of August on record, he said.

"There's really no relief or change in sight," Small said. "Records or not, it's not going to make a whole heck of a lot of difference to most folks. It's still going to be pretty hot and humid. ... (But) we're definitely in record territory."

The high temperatures are about 20 degrees above normal and have steadily increased from the low-80s in the past week.

Farmers initially welcomed the heat. About 90 percent of the area's corn was planted late, in mid-May, because of spring frost, said David Leiting, general manager of Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. in Arcadia. The large majority of soybean crops was planted late as well.

Now, rain is the No. 1 priority for farmers, but there's little chance of that for at least a week, Small said.

As September approaches, summer could end without the moisture needed to stabilize the end of the crops' growth.

"Everything is hinged upon what happens in the next few weeks," Leiting said. "I would say our corn crop at this point in time is most likely going to be a little bit sub-average corn."

The summer ended similarly last year, with a drought and late-summer high temperatures, although they are being exceeded this year.

Compared to last year's Corn Belt-wide drought, the current one is very localized, Leiting said. He estimated that even with the current weather, the area's crops this year will still be better than last year's.

The weather in Carroll has been dry since June and July, said Harry Hillaker, state climatologist.

About 0.19 inch of rain fell in Carroll on Aug. 14, according to weather records. The town's last significant rainfall was 0.55 inch on June 22 and 23.

The area heats up more quickly because of the lack of moisture, and both people and crops are feeling the results.

"This in some ways kind of seals the deal as far as crop conditions," he said. "Soybeans won't grow out, ears of corn won't grow out."

Farmers could see lower yield and quality and smaller seeds because of the dry heat.

"You're just losing all the way around," Hillaker said.

The summer ended similarly last year, with a drought and late-summer high temperatures, although they are being exceeded this year.

Compared to last year's Corn Belt-wide drought, the current one is very localized, Leiting said. He estimated that even with the current weather, the area's crops this year will still be better than last year's.

The weather in Carroll has been dry since June and July, said Harry Hillaker, state climatologist.

About 0.19 inch of rain fell in Carroll on Aug. 14, according to weather records. The town's last significant rainfall was 0.55 inch on June 22 and 23.

The area heats up more quickly because of the lack of moisture, and both people and crops are feeling the results.

"This in some ways kind of seals the deal as far as crop conditions," he said. "Soybeans won't grow out, ears of corn won't grow out."

Farmers could see lower yield and quality and smaller seeds because of the dry heat.

"You're just losing all the way around," Hillaker said.