2009: A powerful winter storm produced heavy snow across most of Iowa on December 8-9, with the highest storm total accumulations of 12 or more inches occurring in a wide swath from southwest to northeast across the state. The statewide average storm total snowfall of 10.2 inches was the highest since 1971 and the third-highest on record in Iowa. The highest reported accumulations around the state included 15.5 inches at Des Moines, 16.0 inches at Atlantic and Belle Plaine, 16.2 inches at Corning and Osceola, and 17.0 inches at Knoxville. At Des Moines this was the fourth-heaviest snow storm on record behind the December blizzard of 1888, the New Years storm of 1942, and the blizzard of March 2004. Strong northwest winds pushed into the region on the back side of the storm, producing blizzard or near blizzard conditions in many areas as well as widespread blowing and drifting of snow making many roads impassable. Wind chills as low as -31 F were recorded at Mason City on the 9th and by the morning of the 10th the temperature fell all the way to -10 F at Little Sioux. This storm set the tone for a winter that would be characterized by frequent snowfalls and persistent deep snow pack across most of Iowa.
1946: Unseasonably warm weather brought the temperature up to 70 degrees or higher at eight stations across Iowa with several locations tying or breaking their all-time December warm temperature records. Some of the highs reported around the state included 66 F at Algona and Rockwell City, 67 F at Atlantic, Grinnell, and Guthrie Center, 68 F at Webster City, 69 F at Des Moines, and 70 F at Corning, Marshalltown, Mount Ayr, and Oskaloosa.
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This post was written by Schnack on December 8, 2012