The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Heatwave hitting Iowa

Just saw Iowa is getting 100+ temps this week like we experienced during RAGBRAI last year. Is it normal for Iowa to get heat like that every summer?
Being a south Florida boy for 12 years, I’m used to 3-4 months of 90-97 degree every day with 100% humidity but those temps last year just plain HURT.

6 Replies

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“Bicycle Bill”, August 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

It’s not just Iowa, it’s the entire Midwest getting clobbered; it’s in the mid-upper 90s in western Wisconsin as well.  I wouldn’t exactly call it normal, but it’s not all that uncommon for the midwest to see a week or so of extremely high (triple-digit) temperatures annually.

The thing that is hard to fathom is the way it can be so random from one year to another.  Today (8/27/13) it’s supposed to hit 96° in Wisconsin.  Four years ago, on the same date in 2009, I was at a Jimmy Buffett concert at Alpine Valley (near East Troy WI); there was a strong NW wind blowing and the temp never got above 65° all day.  As the day wore on the temps stayed low and the wind persisted.  It finally started raining (some people were claiming it was a rain/freezing rain mix) about the time the show started around 7:30 PM, and it got so cold during the show that after the intermission Buffett came back onstage in a hoodie!!  



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jwsknk, August 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

seems like came later than normal and hanging around a bit longer but it is still only August and late August can get hot. Maybe just because it was a wet cool spring and even cool into July. But it has also been 7-8 weeks of below normal rainfall, those 2 during RAGBRAI were really the last 2 in the area. And schools have started , some over a week ago, now that is early. I never started school until after Labor Day.


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mootsman, August 28, 2013 at 8:38 am

It is fairly random in the Midwest. The 100s we had last year in Minnesota hadn’t hit us since 1988 although they probably hit a little more frequently in Iowa. There are some general trends that follow the 11 year solar cycle which itself can vary in intensity. 2012 was the solar maximum. We do get 1 or 2 heats waves a year typically but never a stretch as consistently warm as Florida. Each year I decide the last Friday before RAGBRAI whether I’m going or not based on the heat predictions. That’s why I skipped 2012. But I don’t have airline ticket costs to consider being so close to Iowa.


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Amanda, August 29, 2013 at 7:25 am

We were very fortunate to have the weather we had on RAGBRAI this year. I even complained about the cold a couple mornings! Now we are in a heat wave….

I heard on the radio that we will have a colder than normal winter. YIKES! I just hope winter doesn’t last through May like it did this year.


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Dan in Iowa, September 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm

And now by this weekend, it’s supposed to be a high of 70. From 15 degrees above average temps to 10 below average in the course of 3 days! Welcome to the midwest!


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jwsknk, September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm

100’s in September, snow in May, does it seem as if the seasons are shifting? Last year was a bit like this, but not quite as extreme. But if that means temps like this years ride, I’m okay with that, I think


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