The only thing more unpredictable than the markets is the weather.
But according to Iowa’s state climatologist Harry Hilaker, history sometimes provides a pretty good indication of what to expect weather-wise.
For example, temperatures for this month of May in Iowa are on track to rank in the top 10 for warmest months of May on record in the state. And Hilaker says statistics would indicate a high probability for the warmer-than-normal conditions to continue this summer.
“If you look at the ten warmest Mays on record in Iowa, nine were followed by warmer-than-normal summers,” Hilaker says, “and the statistics look pretty similar—not quite that drastic—but if you look at the top 20 or top 30 warmest Mays, you see much the same pattern of pretty strong correlation there.
“In other words, a very high likelihood of persistence.”
Hilaker says the situation becomes even more worrisome when things are dry, as they are now.
“As we are approaching summer, the weather pattern does tend to get a bit more sluggish—and whatever pattern you’re in, more often than not, is kind of the one you stay in, to some degree,” he says.
“There have been a few exceptions here and there where things have made a major reversal, but those are kind of few and far between, historically.”
But Hilaker does say that summer precipitation trends do not relate as strongly to the May performance as do temperatures.