Iowa’s extended string of mild winter weather will end later this week, but not before another day of above normal temperatures. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lee says many areas of the state have experienced one of their warmest winters-to-date on record.
“It looks like Des Moines, Waterloo, Mason City and Ottumwa…have had their fifth or sixth warmest seasons on record,” Lee said. “And most of those stations have records dating back to the late 1800’s.”
Lee compiled a list of statistics for the period between December 1 and January 8. The average temperature in Des Moines through that period was 33.2 degrees. Ottumwa’s average temp was 33, Mason City 26.6 and Waterloo 29.5.
“At Waterloo, the lowest temperature this winter has only been four-degrees,” Lee said. “This is the first time in 98 years that we’ve gotten this deep into winter without getting below four-degrees at Waterloo.”
Prior to this winter, Iowans endured four consecutive winters with snowier-than-normal and colder-than-normal conditions. Very little snow has fallen in Iowa since December 1 and there’s been no precipitation across most of the state since New Year’s day.
“In fact, in Des Moines, this is only the fifth year since records began in the 1870s that we’ve gone through the first week of January with zero precipitation,” Lee said. Temperatures are expected to plummet through the day on Wednesday. Wind chill readings by Wednesday night could hit 10-below-zero in northern Iowa.
Highs on Thursday across the state are forecast in the mid teens and 20s.