1995: Unseasonably cold weather affected most of Iowa from September 20-22. On the 20th and 21st temperatures failed to climb out of the 40s in many areas and on the 21st a few snowflakes and ice pellets mixed with rain were observed at ten stations scattered across northern Iowa including Sibley, Spencer, Clarion, and Parkersburg. This was the earliest fall occurrence of snow in Iowa since 1938. The coldest temperatures followed on the morning of the 22nd with a freeze recorded across nearly the entire state. Temperatures as low as 24 F occurred at Emmetsburg and Sibley and even in far southeastern Iowa the temperature bottomed out at 35 F at Fort Madison. At Des Moines the low was 31 F tying the earliest freeze on record at that location, which was previously set on September 22, 1913. In northwestern Iowa temperatures remained below freezing for nearly eight hours at some locations with the resulting soybean losses totaling around 200 million dollars.
1913: The first week of September saw record breaking heat with highs in the 90s and 100s every day, then amazingly a statewide freeze and killing frost occurred just a couple of weeks later on the 22nd with nearly every station in the state recording a temperature of 32 F or lower. This remains the earliest freeze on record at numerous locations including Des Moines where the low temperature was 32 F, and in many other areas is second only to the very early freezes of September 19-20, 1991 and September 20-22, 1995. The lowest temperatures reported on the morning of the 22nd were in northwestern Iowa including 22 F at Lake Park and Le Mars, 21 F at Sibley, Washta, and Webster City, 20 F at Alton, and an amazing 19 F at Rock Rapids.
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This post was written by Schnack on September 22, 2012