2012 will certainly be a year of weather that the Heartland will never forget.
After the wettest years the Heartland saw from 2008 through 2011, in May, the faucet turned off, and the Midwest was plagued with one of the worst droughts in U.S. history. No rain was in sight for months leading to many farmers losing their crops and profit. Northeast Missouri is at a deficit of seven inches of rain while southeast Iowa is at a deficit of 10 inches. This drought was an event no weather expert could have ever predicted.
"No one saw the drought of 2012. By the end of April, a lot of crops were planted in the ground. There was no strong signal that we were going to have a historic drought. We can say the same fore 2013...we don't know exactly what is going to happen," said Climatologist Dr. Pat Guinan.
For many the mild winter season should have been a sign of the dry and hot summer season ahead but experts say there is no connection.
"When you look at the history of climatology and look what's happened in the past, there is really no strong relationship on what happens in the winter, being its cold or warm or dry or wet, there's no relationship on what it means for the summer season," Guinan said.
The only positive thing weather experts say that came out of the drought of 2012 was the quiet severe weather season in the spring and summer.
"The patterns were just not established. We had little or few rain events with much below thunderstorm activity and of course its all combined to create severe weather. It was because of the drought we saw a record low number of tornadoes in the middle part of the United States," Guinan said.
So now as we end 2012 and head into the New Year, the only thing we can expect when it comes to the world of weather in 2013 is one thing?|only more uncertainty.
"I think the concern is that the stage is set. There is more vulnerability. It by no means indicates we are going to have another drought year in 2013 because these patterns can change. We can go from one extreme to another very quickly. So time will tell," Guinan said.
The 2013 Weather Outlook is so uncertain that right now there are equal chances that we could see either above or below average temperatures and rainfall.