This is the last Monday of winter but it’ll feel more like summer across much of Iowa with high temperatures approaching record territory. Meteorologist Brad Fillbach at the National Weather Service says most of the state will have highs in the 70s and 80s.
“We are going to be warm today, much warmer than normal,” Fillbach says. “Our record for Des Moines today is 84 and we’re looking for highs in the lower 80s, so close, but probably not a record day.” He says the warming trend will be boosting temperatures 20 to 30 degrees warmer than average for this date in many Iowa cities.
“Normal highs for this time of the year, for the Des Moines area, are upper 40s and for the lows, you’re looking at the upper 20s, so well above normal but not quite the record levels.” A cool front is expected to drift over Iowa late tonight, bumping tomorrow’s (Tuesday) highs back down closer to normal. “We’re going to see a big change in temperatures tomorrow,” Fillbach says. “Where today, we’re lower 80s for highs and tomorrow we’re looking for lower 50s.”
Meteorologist Mindy Beerends, also at the National Weather Service, says a Red Flag Warning is posted for much of central, west-central and south-central Iowa today due to conditions raising the risk of wildfires.
Beerends says, “We’re expecting gusty winds, low relative humidity and dry vegetation which is the combination factors for that Red Flag Warning and extreme fire conditions.”
Even with the big drop in high temperatures for tomorrow, Beerends says much of Iowa will still be slightly above-normal for highs for the rest of the week. Spring arrives on Friday.
(Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City contributed to this report)