1942: A powerful storm system brought a remarkable early snowfall to most of Iowa. Although the snow melted as it fell across most of the state many stations reported their earliest trace of snowfall on record, and in north central Iowa slightly cooler temperatures near the surface allowed the snow to accumulate to as much as 4.0 inches at Allison, Forest City, and Mason City. In portions of eastern Iowa the snow fell so rapidly that it accumulated faster than it could melt resulting in a brief 4.0 inch accumulation at Millerton. At many of the locations where measurable accumulations did occur the wet, heavy snow stuck to wires and trees that were still in full leaf. Many branches and trees were reported down around Centerville, Forest City, Mason City, and Millerton and telephone and electric services were disrupted around Estherville and Mason City. Two men from Calmar were killed on Highway 9 near Cresco when a tree fell in front of their truck. At Des Moines a trace of snow was reported at the airport on the 25th which is only one day later than the earliest date of Des Moines snow on record (which occurred on September 24, 1985), and 0.3 inches of snow was measured at the city office downtown making this the earliest measurable snowfall on record in the city of Des Moines. In fact 1942 and 1985 are the only two years in which snow has ever been recorded at Des Moines in the month of September.
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This post was written by Schnack on September 25, 2012