Climate and monthly weather forecast
Iowa, USA

Flag of Iowa, USA
Flag of Iowa, USA

The climate of Iowa

Iowa experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa) with hot summers and cold winters.
Missouri in the south, Nebraska in the west, South Dakota in the northwest, Minnesota in the north, Wisconsin in the northeast and Illinois in the east, bordering the state. Iowa lies in the far interior of the continent, and the majority of the state rests in a similar climatic zone. The near absence of high mountain ranges, decline in tree cover, and remoteness from major seas and oceans contribute to extreme seasonal variations in the weather.

Iowa, the Hawkeye state, mainly consists of prairie and savanna type grasslands, forests, and wetlands, although agriculture lands, pastures, and urban dwellings have replaced most of the original natural habitat. The state is short of towering mountain ranges. However, the landscape is uneven with many rolling hills, lakes such as Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, East Okoboji Lake, and Clear Lake, and rivers such as the Mississippi, Missouri, Big Sioux, and Des Moines. Northeast Iowa consists of steep hills and valleys in contrast to the rest of the state.

The best time to visit Iowa

Autumn is the best time to visit Iowa, during September and October, while late fall is cold and windy.
The conditions are pleasant compared to the heat of summer and the cold of winter. Late spring is subject to thunderstorms, while summer experiences severe flooding many times. The middle part of spring around April is also an excellent time to visit Iowa. Summers tend to be hot and humid and the peak tourist season in Iowa, so traveling during the spring and fall is more economical than during the summer.

The worst time to visit Iowa

November to February is the worst time to visit Iowa as the state lies in the grip of severe cold weather and extreme temperatures.
Cold waves from the Canadian north are common during the winter, with the lack of natural barriers to the polar winds in the form of high mountain ranges. Many towns accumulate snow in moderate amounts during the winter and days are rarely above freezing in the majority of Iowa. Winter is an off-season due to the lack of mountain slopes and the soft nature of the snow, which is not useful for exciting adventure activities.

Spring weather in Iowa

Spring in Iowa is marked by temperate weather conditions. As the state transitions from cold winters, the warmer temperatures in spring are generally welcomed. This season, however, is also characterized by its fair share of rainfall. Thunderstorms are not uncommon during this time, with occasional tornadoes posing threats. Nevertheless, the mid-part of spring, especially around April, offers a suitable climate for visitors.

Summer weather in Iowa

Iowa's summer is characterized by heat and high humidity levels. Day temperatures can easily reach up to 100°F (37.8°C) in the peak of July. Nighttime offers some relief with temperatures settling between 60°F (15.6°C) to 65°F (18.3°C). The season is also marked by significant rainfall, with summer accounting for more than two-thirds of Iowa's annual precipitation. Prolonged summer rains sometimes result in flooding, especially when coupled with rapid snowmelt.

Autumn weather in Iowa

Autumn in Iowa is a spectacle, with the landscape transitioning to warm, earthy tones. Early autumn is particularly pleasant, with temperatures providing comfort compared to the preceding summer. However, as the season progresses, the weather becomes increasingly windy, leading to cooler temperatures. Despite this, the visual appeal of the landscape makes it an attractive season for many visitors.

Winter weather in Iowa

Winter in Iowa is defined by its cold temperatures and frequent snowfall. Daytime temperatures often remain below freezing, and on particularly cold days, the mercury can drop to as low as -20°F (-28.9°C). While snowfall is common, it tends to be distributed throughout the season, with the state averaging an accumulation of 30" (762mm) of snow. January stands out as the driest month, in contrast to the summer months which see the highest levels of precipitation.

Weather in January

January in Iowa is characterized by its frigid temperatures and frequent snowfall. As the heart of winter grips the state, daytime temperatures consistently remain below freezing. The mercury isn't uncommonly seen descending to extremes like -20°F (-28.9°C), especially in more inland areas away from rivers or lakes that might provide some temperate moderation. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February sees Iowa gradually transitioning from the deep chill of mid-winter, though the temperatures remain decidedly cold. Daytime temperatures in February, while still often below freezing, tend to be milder than the extreme lows of January. Weather in February »

Weather in March

March in Iowa is a month of transition, signaling the slow emergence from winter's grip and the onset of spring. Temperatures during this period start to climb, making daytime readings more temperate, often hovering between 40°F (4.4°C) and 50°F (10°C). Weather in March »

Weather in April

April in Iowa is when spring truly starts to manifest, with clear indications of warmer weather and revitalized nature. Temperatures during this month make a noticeable leap, frequently ranging from 55°F (12.8°C) to 65°F (18.3°C) during the day. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is emblematic of the full bloom of spring in Iowa, with the state bathed in mild temperatures and an abundance of natural beauty. Daytime temperatures become increasingly pleasant, often ranging from 65°F (18.3°C) to 75°F (23.9°C). Weather in May »

Weather in June

June in Iowa is the herald of summer, characterized by a noticeable warmth and the commencement of a more humid climate. As the month progresses, temperatures comfortably settle between 75°F (23.9°C) and 85°F (29.4°C) during the daytime. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July is the zenith of summer in Iowa, where temperatures, humidity, and sunshine reach their peak. Daytime temperatures frequently find themselves in the 85°F (29.4°C) to 95°F (35°C) range, with occasional surges pushing them closer to the 100°F (37.8°C) mark. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August in Iowa serves as a gentle reminder that summer's reign is nearing its end, though the heat persists. Daytime temperatures typically hover between 80°F (26.7°C) and 90°F (32.2°C). The nights, while warm, bring a subtle hint of the approaching autumn, with temperatures ranging from 60°F (15.6°C) to 70°F (21.1°C). Rainfall in August, though less frequent than the earlier summer months, can still manifest in the form of sporadic thunderstorms. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September in Iowa marks the onset of autumn, a period synonymous with moderate temperatures, picturesque landscapes, and a decline in humidity levels. Daytime temperatures in September typically rest between 70°F (21.1°C) and 80°F (26.7°C), showcasing a marked decline from the summer peaks. Weather in September »

Weather in October

October in Iowa is emblematic of full-blown autumn, with its cooler temperatures, vibrant foliage, and crisp air. As the month unfolds, daytime temperatures usually oscillate between 60°F (15.6°C) and 70°F (21.1°C), while nights introduce a chillier ambiance, as temperatures dip to between 40°F (4.4°C) and 50°F (10°C). With the decline in temperatures comes a reduction in the frequency and intensity of rain showers. Weather in October »

Weather in November

November in Iowa acts as a harbinger of winter, with temperatures consistently dropping and the last remnants of autumn's hues fading. Daytime temperatures typically range between 40°F (4.4°C) and 50°F (10°C), signaling the need for warmer clothing. Weather in November »

Weather in December

December ushers in the heart of winter for Iowa, characterized by a distinct coldness and the landscape often blanketed in snow. Daytime temperatures during this month predominantly linger between 30°F (-1.1°C) and 40°F (4.4°C). Weather in December »

Iowa, USA

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