Iowa’s climate is characterized by warm, generally moist summers and cold winters. Temperatures vary considerably from season to season and, at times, from day to day. However, monthly averages are relatively uniform throughout the state and usually vary less than 6°C (10°F) from place to place. Although total snowfall is rarely very great, the severity of the Iowa winter is often increased by high winds that produce blizzard conditions and by prolonged periods of very low temperatures.
Average monthly temperatures in July range from less than 22°C (72°F) in northern Iowa to more than 24°C (76°F) in southern Iowa. Daytime highs in summer are usually between 29° and 32°C (85° and 90°F) in most of the state. Temperatures in the lower 40°s C (lower 110°s F) have been recorded, but these occur infrequently.
Average January temperatures range from less than -10°C (14°F) in the north to more than -4°C (24°F) in the extreme southeast. In winter nearly all places in the state may experience lows in the lower -30°s C (upper -20°s F).
Most of the state receives between 660 and 910 mm (26 and 36 in) of precipitation (rainfall and snowfall) a year. In general, precipitation decreases from east to west. Most precipitation falls in the form of rain during the spring and summer, although prolonged droughts sometimes occur in summer. The growing season, the period between the last killing frost in the spring and the first killing frost in the fall, ranges from about 180 days in the southeastern and southwestern corners of the state to about 130 days in the extreme northwest. The last killing frost in the spring usually occurs in late April in the south and in early May in the north. The first killing frost in the fall generally occurs in late September or early October in the north and in the second week of October in the south. © "United States" © Emmanuel Buchot and Encarta
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