snowplow3Most of Iowa is seeing unseasonably high temperatures this week in the 50, 60s and near 70, quite rare for November, but it won’t last. This is Winter Weather Awareness Day in Iowa.

Kelsey Angle, the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says it’s wise to brush up on winter driving skills, prepare emergency kits, and assemble ice scrapers and snow shovels.

“It has been a nice, long, warm fall across Iowa but we do know winter is coming,” Angle says. “Now is the time to plan and prepare for upcoming winter weather as we head into December, January and February and the snow, the cold and the potential icy conditions that can come with winter.”

There are some predictions of a much colder, snowier winter ahead for the Midwest but Angle says the weather service’s long-range forecast isn’t so gloomy.

“It looks like we’re going to see near-normal to maybe just below-normal temperatures across portions of the state, mainly northern Iowa as far as the below-normal temperatures,” Angle says. “As far as precipitation, we’re looking for precipitation to be near- to just above-normal for much of the state.”

Most flowers and foliage across Iowa are still flourishing as there hasn’t yet been a widespread killing frost, but one day soon, the snowflakes will fly.

“The typical first snowfall in the Des Moines area, as far as the first inch of snowfall, typically occurs November 18th through November the 25th, so that week,” Angle says. “We’re approaching that time frame but it does look like this year, it’s going to be later than that.”

This is the warmest autumn on record in Iowa, with an average temperature around 65 degrees, while this is the state’s second-warmest year on record, to date.

Learn about watches and warnings, winter driving tips and much more at www.weather.gov/dmx.