1985: A winter storm struck Iowa from late on November 29th through December 1st producing heavy snow across much of the state. A wide swath from southwest to northeast received 8 or more inches with many stations from around Guthrie Center east northeast to Waukon and Dubuque recording a foot or more of snow. In northeastern Iowa Decorah, Dorchester, and Waukon all set their single-day snowfall records with Dorchester reporting a remarkable 18.0 inches of snow in just 24 hours ending on the morning of the 2nd. Other reported three-day snowfall amounts included 13.5 inches at Charles City and Waterloo, 14.0 inches at Independence and Waukon, 14.8 inches at Decorah, 16.0 inches at Tripoli, 16.5 inches at Oelwein, 17.0 inches at Fayette, 18.6 inches at Dubuque, and 19.0 inches at Elkader and Iowa Falls. Winds gusted to 40 to 50 mph by December 1st, combining with bitterly cold air to produce wind chills of -40 to -60 and resulting in blowing and drifting of snow that brought travel to a standstill across much of Iowa.
1981: A winter storm struck Iowa from November 30th into December 1st producing freezing rain and sleet that changed to snow from northwest to southeast. Snowfall accumulations ranged up to 6.7 inches at Hampton, 7.0 inches at Audubon, and 8.5 inches at Cresco. Wind gusts in excess of 50 mph combined with the ice and snow to cause extensive tree and power line damage and make travel hazardous across much of the state.
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This post was written by Schnack on December 1, 2012