Iowa is inching close to the factors needed to converge to launch the morel season.
Daytime temperatures in some parts of the state have been at 70 degrees, with night-time temps above 40. Moisture hasn’t been ideal, with a particularly snow-free winter, but recent rains put a dent in that, as well.
Most importantly, one of the crucial components is teetering on the edge of morel-favorable considerations: soil temperature.
Morel experts say 50 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for morels to make an appearance, and already, parts of Iowa are seeing soil temps of 49 degrees.
Mild weather is expected to continue in Iowa for another day or so, after a string of several days. Already, mushroom hunters in Missouri have found the sponge-like delicacies, but it appears somewhat unlikely that those sightings will move into Iowa this early, in February.
To find how your favorite hunting spots are faring, Iowa State University Extension’s soil temperature map can be seen here and read more about past mushroom seasons: