1996: Unseasonably warm air surged into Iowa ahead of an approaching cold front, bringing temperatures into the 50s across much of the state and lower 60s in the southeast. Many stations broke their daily high temperature record including Waterloo with a high of 54 F and Burlington with a high of 63 F. Other reported high temperatures included 60 F at Fairfield and Ottumwa, 61 F at Centerville and Mount Ayr, 62 F at Keosauqua. Behind the front arctic air blasted into the region, and by the 19th some stations in northern Iowa remained below zero even in the afternoon. A series of reinforcing arctic fronts followed in the subsequent weeks and by the first few days of February, Iowa was gripped by one if its worst cold snaps on record.
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This post was written by Schnack on January 17, 2013