The record high in Iowa in 2013 was 106 degrees — back in May — and the record low a minus 27 just last week. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker (HILL-uh-ker) says temperatures in Iowa for 2013 have averaged out to slightly below normal.
This past spring was very wet and the late summer and early fall were dry, which means precipitation levels for 2013 in Iowa average out to be average, according to Hillaker.
The months of May and April were the wettest ever recorded in Iowa, while August and September were very dry, but don’t rank as some of the driest ever. Hillaker says there were pockets of southeast Iowa that were exceptionally dry this summer.
Hillaker uses the phrase “consistently cool” to describe the temperatures recorded in Iowa this past year.
The temperature dropped to 27 degrees below zero on Christmas Eve in Osceola.
The year’s record high — of 106 degrees — was recorded in Sioux City on May 14th.
Hillaker says that 133-degree variation between highs and lows is unique on the planet. The only other place besides the upper Midwest that sees such wide temperature swings is in Russia. Hillacer says the climates in these two areas are “so contrasting” because they in the middle of a large land mass, without the “moderating” influence of oceans or large lakes. Russia actually straddles two continents and Hillaker says South America isn’t as large as North America, so that’s why temperatures in the southern hemisphere don’t vary that much.