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Old 09-10-2007, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
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I know that Iowa is known for it's nasty cold winters, but how are the summers there?
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:19 AM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Well, it depends on the day. :-)

Summer is generally hot. Some summers, especially the last few before this year, have not been overwhelmingly so and I have to say that was pretty pleasant. While we do sometimes see 100 degrees or above, hot is generally more like in the 90s. Not so bad, you think? Well, then there's the humidity. (I think it is Team Emu on RAGBRAI, the annual bicycle ride across Iowa, whose motto is "it's not the heat, it's the stupidity." I love Team Emu.) It gets worse as the summer goes along, and it probably is associated with the crops and all their lovely respiration that gives us air to breath and all that. I just prefer my air to be conditioned at that time of year! My neighbor LOVES it when it is hot and humid -- he was out sawing up trees and digging up stuff while I was barely able to stand the wet washcloth slap-in-the-face long enough to limply trudge up to the barn to check on the animals every few hours. I run fans for them. When the dew point doesn't drop below 70 degrees at night, you know its bad.

Every now and then, though, a nice Canadian front will drop through and give us some respite. Today is spectacularly lovely.

I think there are parts of Iowa where the winters are nastier than others. Frankly, the idea of anyone in Montana picking on Iowa for winter weather seems a little... over-zealous. <grin> The last few winters, in particular have been pretty easy. 2006-07 was notable for a couple of huge ice storms -- we don't necessarily have one of those every year, but if one hits an area badly, it can mark it for years because of all the snapped-off trees (see the band just south of the Iowa border for evidence of regular storms like that). Then we had a week or so of really bitterly cold weather; any other year, it probably would have been a blip on the radar, but it came right after the ice, so many of us remained without electricity for a while, and that got interesting. DH was on business (in San Diego, of course!) at the time, and I literally had to sleep by the fireplace to keep it from going out so the pipes wouldn't freeze (fortunately, our 'fireplace' is actually a wood stove, more or less, so if you stock that baby up, it puts out real heat, even without a fan or catalytic converter operating... unlike a conventional fireplace that just would have sucked the heat out the roof).

But that's what I love about Iowa -- like Montana, you still get the chance to prove your ingenuity and survivability every now and then; not like some places where that means you lost the takeout menu and have to look up the number in the yellow pages, instead!
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Iowa City/Dubuque, IA
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WoodwardGirl's descriptions are pretty accurate. Summers are definitely warm (lots of 90+ days), and sometimes the humidity really kicks in, but I wouldn't call it too different from anywhere else in the Midwest, and it is not as nasty as southern summers.

She's also right that the winters have been (seemingly) more mild in recent years. For at least the last two years, I believe Dubuque went all the way into FEBRUARY without snow!!! In 2005, my dad told me he played golf EVERY MONTH that year (Yes, even December & January)!

The bottom line is this: The climate in Iowa offers lots of variety, not only between seasons, but within them, as well. Hot, cold, humid, dry... at some point during the year, we have it ALL.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:09 AM
 
Location: IN
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The climate of Iowa is strongly influenced by continental air masses. The summers will be hot and humid and the winters will be cold. Last winter was quite a bit colder than the last few winters. Expect temperatures below zero to occur in most of Iowa several times during the winter.
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Old 09-11-2007, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Larkspur, CO
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Iowa summers generally = humidity & bugs. There are mild days mixed in of course, but if you've never experienced the humidity firsthand montanamom, then you're in for a shock. This summer was unusually hot in MT and the smoke from the fires made for an uncomfortable season.

Winters in my opinion are much more miserable in IA too. High humidity, ice storms, days on end without any sun. There are some extremes in MT too, but side-by-side, IA is harsher.
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