1983: Bitterly cold weather set in for nearly a week leading up to Christmas with the worst conditions experienced on December 23-25, as temperatures were rarely above zero and howling winds created very dangerous wind chills and deep snow drifts making travel all but impossible. For the four days from December 22-25 the statewide average temperature was -12.5 F which is the third-coldest such stretch on record in Iowa. At Des Moines the temperature remained below zero for 115 consecutive hours from December 21-26 and the average temperature from December 18-25 was -9.4 F. The coldest reported temperatures on Christmas morning included -24 F at Estherville and Rock Rapids, -25 F at Pocahontas and Storm Lake, and -28 F at Cascade. Even during the afternoon many areas failed to climb out of the teens below zero including high temperatures of -14 F at Sioux Rapids, -13 F at Cresco, and -12 F at Corning and Storm Lake. The month finished as the coldest Iowa December on record.
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This post was written by Schnack on December 25, 2012