1912: Extreme cold affected Iowa on January 4-7 with a statewide average temperature of -12.0 F over that stretch making this the fourth-coldest four day span on record for the state. Almost the entire month of January 1912 was bitterly cold with the lowest temperatures coming between the 5th and the 13th. At Des Moines the average temperature for the entire month was only 6.2 F, making it not only the coldest January but the coldest of any month on record at that location. At Dubuque the average temperature for the first 12 days of the month was -7.1 F, the average from January 5-12 was -10.4 F, and the average for the first 21 days of the month was -2.1 F. On the 5th the temperature at Dubuque was -19 F at noon “with full sunshine”. At Elma in Howard County the average temperature for the month was -3.0 F. Low temperatures around the state by the morning of 7th included -40 F at Humboldt and Washta, -39 F at Inwood, -37 F at Decorah, -36 F at Elkader and Elma, and -35 F at Alton. Incredibly, even lower temperatures would be recorded less than a week later on the 12th which was one of the coldest days in Iowa history.
1884: Extremely cold air settled across Iowa for several days during the first week of January. By most accounts the coldest temperatures occurred on the 4th and 5th, with many stations remaining below zero through both days. In the early afternoon hours of the 4th Sioux City and Humboldt both reported temperatures below -20 F. At Des Moines the high temperature on the 4th was -7 F and the low on the 5th was -30 F, which remains the coldest temperature ever recorded in Des Moines. Other low temperatures reported on the morning of the 5th included -30 F at Fort Madison, -33 F at Burlington and Humboldt, and -38 F from a voluntary observer at Guttenberg. Many observers across Iowa noted that it was the coldest weather in memory.
Posted under Weather History
This post was written by Schnack on January 5, 2013