December is starting out much warmer than normal, but temperatures across Iowa are expected to take a nose dive this week. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says it follows a November where the weather patterns brought much of the state cooler, drier conditions. “On the temperature end of things, we were about two-and-a-half degrees below normal, which isn’t a huge amount but it’s quite a contrast from recent years,” Hillaker says. “We’ve actually had eight consecutive Novembers that have been warmer than normal.”
While some areas of the state saw plenty of rain and snow during the just-ended month, he says November ended up being drier than normal. “The later we got in the month, the drier things became,” Hillaker says. “Eastern Iowa was generally close to normal precipitation for the month, while the western part of the state was well below normal, but averaging it all out, we ended up being a quarter inch or so less than usual.”
Temperatures are expected to plummet over the next few days, from unseasonably warm highs in the 40s and 50s down into the teens and single-digits by Friday. Christmas is three weeks from tomorrow and Hillaker says it’s still too early to predict whether or not it’ll be a white Christmas in Iowa.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)