December wraps up among the wetter, warmer Decembers on record for Iowa

News, Weather

January 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa’s weather went from one extreme to the other in December, as a very warm start was followed by a harsh blizzard. After so many months of drought, state climatologist Harry Hillaker says that big storm dumped almost 14 inches of snow on parts of central Iowa, moisture that was much-needed.  “Overall, December was a wetter-than-normal month, preliminarily ranking 35th wettest in 140 years of records,” Hillaker says. “Southeastern Iowa, much of that precipitation came in the form of rain. Elsewhere in the state, it was about equally divided between rain and snowfall.” Hillaker says December kicked off being quite warm but the temperature dropped like a rock.

“The month got off to a very mild start and then the more seasonal temperatures arrived during the last week and a half or so of December,” Hillaker says. “Overall, we averaged almost five-degrees warmer than normal and it was the 38th warmest December in 140 years of records.” As for the month ahead, January is shaping up to be quite cold but Hillaker predicts a slow warming trend in the first few weeks along with drier-than-normal conditions.

In Atlantic, the average High for the month of December was 38-degrees, which was three-degrees warmer than normal. The average low was 16, which was just one-degree warmer than normal. Precipitation (both rainfall & melted snowfall) amounted to 1.55-inches.  Actual snowfall for the month was 9.1-inches.

(Information from Radio Iowa & KJAN records)