It could be a dry year for growing hay in the Midwest, says Elwynn Taylor, Iowa State University extension climatologist. He says La NiƱa weather patterns and more than a 19-year lapse since the last major drought, in 1988, suggest a drought is likely this year. History shows the average time span between major droughts in the Midwest is about 19 years, Taylor notes. The dry conditions in the Southeast could also be an indicator of what's to come. Of the 17 major droughts in the Midwestern U.S. the past 100 years, 16 were preceded by a major drought in the Southeast, says Taylor.

He provides links to a number of interesting weather sites, in addition to answering questions and offering commentary online at www.extension.iastate.edu/weather.htm.