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Iowa Weather: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Iowa weather: the good, the bad, the ugly
Photo Credits: Canva


If you've ever been to Iowa, you've probably had your fair share of experiences with the term "Iowa weather." Well, it's like trying to predict which flavor of ice cream you'll crave next – you never quite know what you're going to get.

Iowa has many great places to live despite the unpredictable weather. Multiple cities in Iowa routinely rank highly on lists of the best places to live in the United States. With its low cost of living, strong economy, highly-rated schools, and variety of outdoor recreational activities, Iowa offers a little something for everyone. Whether you prefer the thriving metro areas like Downtown Des Moines or Cedar Rapids, or smaller college towns like Iowa City and Ames, you're sure to find one of Iowa's best places to call home. Just be sure to pack clothes for all four seasons when you move!

Iowa is a state that has a lot of diversity in its weather. From sunny and warm days to snowy and cold nights, Iowa weather can offer something for everyone. But it can also be unpredictable and challenging at times. 

Keep reading on and I will share some of the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of Iowa weather, and how you can make the most of it. You can also watch the video below to learn more about the pros and cons of the weather in Iowa from the personal experience of someone who has lived there for 34 years.

The Good: What Makes Iowa Weather Unique and Wonderful

One of the good things about Iowa weather is that it has four distinct seasons. You can enjoy the beauty of spring, the warmth of summer, the colors of fall, and the coziness of winter. Each season has its own charm and activities that you can do. For example, in spring, you can see the flowers blooming, and go hiking, biking, or fishing. In summer, you can enjoy the sunshine, go swimming, boating, or camping. In the fall, you can admire the changing leaves, go apple picking, or visit a pumpkin patch. In winter, you can have fun with snow, go skiing, sledding, or ice skating.

Additionally, Iowa weather is relatively mild compared to some other states. The average temperature in Iowa is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not too hot or too cold. The hottest month is July, with an average high of 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and the coldest month is January, with an average low of 12 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual precipitation in Iowa is about 34 inches, which is lower than the national average of 38 inches. The average annual snowfall in Iowa is about 32 inches, which is higher than the national average of 28 inches, but lower than some of the neighboring states like Minnesota or Wisconsin.

The Bad: What Makes Iowa Weather Difficult and Dangerous

Iowa weather is not very consistent or predictable. You can experience different types of weather on the same day, or even at the same hour. This is one of the bad things that you should expect from it. For example, you can wake up to a sunny morning, then have a thunderstorm in the afternoon, and then a clear night. You can also have a warm day followed by a cold night, or vice versa. This can make it hard to plan ahead and dress appropriately. You may need to check the weather forecast frequently and carry layers of clothing with you.

Another bad thing about Iowa weather is that it can be extreme and severe at times. Iowa is prone to some natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, droughts, and blizzards. Tornadoes are especially common in Iowa, as it is part of the Tornado Alley, a region in the central United States that has a high frequency of tornadoes. Iowa averages about 48 tornadoes per year, which can cause damage to property and life. Floods are also a major threat in Iowa, as it has many rivers and streams that can overflow due to heavy rain or snowmelt. Droughts and blizzards are less frequent, but they can also have negative impacts on agriculture, transportation, and health.

The Ugly: The Dark Side of Iowa Weather

One of the ugly things about Iowa weather is that it can affect your mood and well-being. Some people may experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during certain seasons, usually winter. SAD can cause symptoms such as low energy, sadness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, and loss of interest in activities. SAD can be treated with light therapy, medication, or counseling. Another way to cope with SAD is to stay active, socialize, and find hobbies that you enjoy.

It can also limit your options and opportunities. You may feel bored or stuck in Iowa, especially during the winter, when the weather is cold and gloomy. Others may also have trouble finding jobs or education in Iowa, as it is a rural state with a low population density and slow economic growth. Some people may even want to move to other states or countries that have more favorable weather, more diversity, or more opportunities. However, moving can also be challenging, as it involves leaving behind your family, friends, and community.

How to Love Iowa Weather

Iowa weather can be a challenge for some people, especially those who are not used to the changing seasons, the extreme temperatures, and the natural disasters. However, Iowa weather can also be a source of joy and appreciation, if you know how to embrace it and make the most of it.

Here are some tips on how to love Iowa weather, no matter what it throws at you.

Appreciate the Variety

To love Iowa weather, you need to appreciate the variety and see the positive aspects of each season and weather event. For example, you can enjoy the spring flowers, the summer sunshine, the fall colors, and the winter snow. You can also marvel at the power and wonder of the storms, the tornadoes, the floods, and the blizzards. You can learn more about the weather and how it affects the environment and the people. You can also find ways to have fun and be creative with the weather, such as making snowmen, flying kites, or building forts.

Prepare for the Challenges

Since Iowa weather can be unpredictable and changeable, you need to be ready for anything. You need to prepare for the challenges and take precautions to protect yourself and your property. For instance, you need to check the weather forecast regularly and dress appropriately for the weather. An emergency kit and a plan in case of a disaster would be a wise thing to do. Follow the safety guidelines and warnings from the authorities and the experts. You also need to have insurance and backup options in case of a loss or a disruption.

Find the Opportunities

The last thing that you need to do to love Iowa weather is to find the opportunities. Iowa weather can be a blessing in disguise if you know how to take advantage of it and make it work for you. You can also use the weather as an opportunity to grow, learn, and connect with others. One good thing to do is to use the weather as an excuse to try new things, explore new places, or pursue new hobbies. Use the weather as a chance to improve your skills, knowledge, or health. The weather can also be a great reason to bond with your family, friends, or neighbors. You can support your community, help others in need, or contribute to a cause.

Learn to Appreciate Iowa Weather

The weather in Iowa is a mixed bag of good, bad, and ugly. It has its advantages and disadvantages, its joys and challenges, its beauty and ugliness. It is not for everyone, but it is also not something to be afraid of or ashamed of. It is part of what makes Iowa unique and special. 

If you are ready to move to Iowa and enjoy the beauty of its weather, check out the best places to live here in this post: Discovering the Best Places to Live in Iowa

To know more about the pros and cons of the weather in Iowa, you can watch this video where I shared my personal experience and tips on how to deal with Iowa weather while living there for 34 years. 

If you are thinking of moving to or living in Iowa, you can book a free consultation with me and I will help you find your dream home and answer any questions you may have about Iowa weather. 

Iowa weather may surprise you, but it will never bore you. Welcome to Iowa!


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