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DES MOINES –The Iowa average unleaded retail gasoline prices rose $.32 this week, closing at $4.02. The price of Mid-Grade Blend in Iowa (10% ethanol) also rose $.32, averaging $3.94 per gallon.
Crude Oil Summary
The price of global crude oil rose this week on the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) by $1.95 per barrel over last week, closing at $96.16.
Brent crude oil fell in price this week by $1.28 per barrel, currently at $102.47.
One year ago WTI crude sold for $91.66 and Brent crude was at $109.76.
As of Tuesday, May 21st, the price of regular unleaded gasoline averaged $4.02 across Iowa according to AAA. This is up $.32 from last week and up $.54 from one year ago. The national average on Tuesday was $3.66, up $.07 from last week’s price.
Retail diesel fuel prices in Iowa were up a penny on the Tuesday report with a statewide average of $3.78. One year ago diesel prices averaged $3.83 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel average is $.11 per gallon lower than the national average of $3.89.
Wholesale ethanol prices fell $.02 this week, closing at $2.63. The price of Mid-Grade Blend in Iowa (10% ethanol) closed at $3.94 per gallon, up $.32 from last week’s price and up $.54 from one year ago.
Natural Gas prices in Iowa were up $.19 from last week’s report, ending the week at $4.14 / MMbtu.
Outdoor Warning Siren Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What do the guidelines say?
Under the Polk County/Des Moines Metro Area outdoor warning system guidelines, sirens will be
Severe Thunderstorms with winds occurring/forecast to be 70 mph or greater
The sirens may be sounded multiple times during the threat. There will be no “all clear” signal for the
2. What should I do when I hear the sirens?
Go inside to the lowest level, most-interior room of the structure and tune to NOAA All-Hazards Radio or
the local media for more detailed information on the storm’s location, timing, and intensity.
3. When are the sirens tested?
Sirens will be tested on the first Saturday of each month at noon. If actual severe weather threatens that
day, the test will be delayed until the next monthly scheduled test. A “growl” test may be conducted on
the third Saturday of the month. A “growl” test activates the system without a full audible alert of the
system. Sirens may not be tested from December through February when ice and cold temperatures may
damage the system.
4. Why can’t I hear the sirens in my house?
Sirens are an outdoor warning system designed only to alert those who are outside that something
dangerous is approaching.
5. Why don’t the outdoor warning sirens sound an all-clear signal?
People should be indoors and monitoring local media or NOAA All-Hazards Radio for updates on the
6. How often can I expect the sirens to sound for severe weather?
On average, the Polk County/Des Moines Metro Area experiences approximately 5-15 storms each year
that meet the siren guidelines.
7. Why were the guidelines developed?
When life-threatening weather is approaching, minutes or even seconds could make a difference. If
people are unsure or confused about an alert, they may not respond quickly or appropriately. By adopting
common outdoor warning system guidelines, confusion will be minimized, response time reduced, and
lives will be saved.
8. How were the guidelines developed?
Emergency management officials from Polk County working with area emergency dispatch centers as
well as law enforcement, fire departments, and other public safety officials developed the guidelines
together in cooperation with the National Weather Service. Input on the draft guidelines was also sought
from municipal and county officials from across the Polk County/Des Moines Metro Area. During the
fall of 2009, the final guidelines were shared with community governments for implementation.
NORTHEY COMMENTS ON IOWA CROPS AND WEATHER REPORT
DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
“Farmers took full advantage of the good weather last week and in the five days that were suitable for fieldwork were able to plant more than 9 million acres of the 23 million acres of our state that will be devoted to corn and soybeans again this year,” Northey said. “Planting progress remains behind the five year average and hopefully dryer weather will return to allow farmers to finish getting crops in the ground.”
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia. The report summary follows here:
Iowa farmers made significant progress planting crops during the week ending May 19, 2013 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The best weather of year for fieldwork allowed producers to rapidly advance their planting pace, especially for corn. The good weather held in most areas till late in the week, when severe storms were seen across much of Iowa. There was an average of 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, over twice the days suitable for fieldwork in any previous week this year.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus. Statewide, subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 13 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus, although ratings in Northwest Iowa still show nearly 30 percent in the short to very short categories.
By the end of the week, 71 percent of Iowa’s corn acreage had been planted, an increase of 56 percentage points from last week. Even though farmers planted at a near record pace, progress still lags behind last year’s 97 percent and the five-year average of 92 percent. Thirteen percent of the corn crop has emerged, well behind last year’s 77 percent and the normal of 58 percent. Soybean planting was 16 percent complete, behind last year’s 78 percent and the five-year average of 59 percent. One percent of the soybean crop has emerged. Oat planting, at 98 percent, was nearly complete and 71 percent of the crop has emerged. Oat condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 61 percent good and 6 percent excellent.
Pasture and range conditions continued to show improvement and were rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 45 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Hay supplies were still tight across Iowa.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa received a welcome break from the recent wet weather with mostly dry weather prevailing from Sunday (12th) through Wednesday (15th). However, far southeast Iowa saw some light rain Wednesday night while rain was scattered over much of the state Thursday afternoon to Friday morning. Locally heavy rain fell across portions of extreme northern Iowa Thursday night. Dry weather again prevailed through most of the day on Friday and through Saturday. Thunderstorms brought rain to most of Iowa Sunday (19th) morning. Widespread thunderstorm activity, with numerous severe storms, impacted the state Sunday afternoon and Sunday night, however, this latest activity will be included in next week’s summary. Rain totals for the week through 7 a.m. Sunday varied from none across portions of central and east central Iowa at locations such as Perry, Des Moines, Maquoketa and Davenport to 3.80 inches at Lake Mills. The statewide average precipitation was 0.56 inches or about one-half the weekly normal of 1.05 inches. Temperatures were well below normal Monday (13th) morning with several record low temperatures set over eastern Iowa with the cold spot at Elkader with a 27 degree reading. However, much warmer air quickly returned by Monday afternoon with Sioux City reporting Iowa’s first ninety degree temperature of the year. Exceptionally hot air prevailed on Tuesday (14th) with all but a small area of southeast Iowa climbing to ninety degrees or higher. Triple-digit temperatures prevailed over the northwest with Sioux City reaching 106 degrees. This was a new record high for the month of May at Sioux City and only during the last three days of 1934 has any location in Iowa seen higher temperatures during the month. Clinton followed a daily record low of 33 degrees on May 13 with a new record high on the 14th at 93 degrees. Their sixty degree rise in temperatures tied for the largest day-to-day increase in temperatures at that location among 121 years of record at that location (for any time of the year). Temperatures for the remainder of the week were not as warm, but were still well above normal readings for the season with highs mostly in the 80’s. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 8.4 degrees above normal.