2012 in Review…

2012 in Review…

Oh 2012, where did you go? I thought I’d take a few moments and reminiscence on the past year.

2012 started off with a warmer and drier winter than years past.  Little did we know it would just a sign of things to come.

The Drought

Of course the big story for the year was the record high temps and the drought.  Iowa set approximately 1,400 record hi’s (thru Aug-12).  Along with the record heat, came the lack of precipitation.  As you can see below, all of Iowa is a drought, with the NW being the worst.  After record floods of years past (2008, 2010) Iowan’s are now dealing with extremely low water levels.  A few places around the state have even enacted water conservation measures.


Here’s a look at the current drought forecast.  Things don’t look to improve a whole lot over the next few months.

drought persistence

It’s hard to believe as I write this, the Mississippi River is in danger of being closed to barge traffic due to low water levels. It seems not that long ago that we were talking about the Mississippi River flooding.

2012 Storm Chasing

Iowa saw a unbelievably low number of tornadoes this year.  Only 16 tornadoes were confirmed in the state and all occurred from April 14 – May 24.  So needless to say there wasn’t much chasing to due around Iowa. Iowa averages 47 tornadoes across the state / year.

Personal Notes

As many of you may have read, I decided to change my hobbies up and stop storm chasing and focus more on photography in general.  I started up a new site prairieridgephotography.com where you can now find my photos instead of on Flickr.  Iowachaser.com has and will continue to be my blog site.

During the past few months, I’ve been really doing some thinking.  One finds it hard to suddenly end  a hobby of 10+ years.  Weather always has and will continue to intrigue me.  As hard as it was to stop storm chasing all together (of course when there’s no storms, it’s not that hard) I don’t think I’ll be ending that hobby anytime soon.  I may not travel all over as I once did, but if a good storm comes my way, you’ll probably find me out and about as usual. As they say, once a storm chaser, always a storm chaser!

Happy New Year to all and may 2013 bring us some drought relief, some cooler weather, and some fun weather!


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