No that’s not a lake, or a river… It’s a farm near Hornick, Iowa.
This weekend’s rain has really soaked some areas, especially those prone to flooding like the West Fork Rivers.
Sioux City has received over 1.5 inches of rain so far this month, which is double the monthly average for December. On Monday, Sioux City broke it’s daily precipitation record with a month’s worth in one day… 0.86 inches, smashing the old record of 0.67 inches from 1891!
Local farmers say their fields are pretty soggy.
“Down here in Onawa where I farm some heavy ground, it’s wet. It’s saturated…. we’ve had over 5-6 inches in December. I have never seen that much rain in December” says Brian Croker, a farmer in Monona County.
Croker says he’s never dealt with flooded fields in December, but luckily for him he has harvested already. He says those few who haven’t harvested their corn yet will probably have to wait until the spring.
“They’re probably going to have to wait until it freezes very hard and try to get going when it’s really cold. If there is water there, it’s not going to freeze underneath there so they’ll have trouble going through that… so they might have to wait until spring” says Brian Croker, a Monona County farmer.
So what’s going on? Why the rain this month? It’s actually the same reason why the Eastern Seaboard has been experiencing record warmth.
The answer: The Jet Stream. Our Polar Jet Stream usually sits farther south in the winter, allowing cold air to make its way to the Midwest and Northeast. But, over the last week or so the jet stream has had a large ridge, or bulge that sits far north allowing warm air in from the south. That meant mostly rain instead of snow during last weekend’s storm system.
But spoiler alert: A trough, bulge in the Jet Stream that sits to the south, rushing cold air in from the north is coming for next week. That will make temperatures more winter-like here at home.
The warm December temperatures and stormy rain system are examples of what an El Nino winter could really shape up to be.