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Iowa Travel Guide

Iowa — Weather

Like most of the American Midwest, Iowa has a typical humid continental climate. This means hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Spring is a mixed bag of precipitation and temperatures, while fall is generally the nicest season of the year. Summers in Iowa are hot and sticky, with daytime highs averaging 90°F from June through August and frequent rain. Humidity levels in the 90 percent range create truly uncomfortable sweaty conditions, but the locals learn to live with it.

Winters are unpleasant at the other end of the spectrum. Daytime highs rarely make it out of the mid 30’s (°F) between December and February, with temperatures at night dropping well below freezing. Intense snowstorms regularly roll across the entire state causing blizzard conditions. Springtime brings the most unpredictable weather patterns to Iowa, beginning in late March and running through May. Though temperatures warm up to the 50’s (°F) and 60’s (°F) by April, this is when intense thunderstorms typically arrive. Iowa gets an average of 37 tornadoes during the spring and summer, and at least 50 days of severe thunderstorms.

Best Time to Visit Iowa

Fall is the best season in Iowa. By September the daytime temperatures hover in the 70’s (°F), which is very pleasant, and the humidity levels drop off noticeably as the summer rains dry up. This weather lasts right through the end of October, and some years even into the first half of November. The changing colors of the trees and the farm harvest season ensure plenty of fun activities and scenery to enjoy along with the weather.

Since Iowa really has no distinct tourism season, except maybe the peak of fall, hotel rates stay more or less stable throughout the year. The shoulder seasons of April, May, October, and November are often good months to find discounts on hotels.

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