On This Day in Iowa Weather History
1989: Severe thunderstorms produced strong winds and large hail across Iowa. Winds gusted to 95 mph at Dunkerton and hail as large as baseballs fell just north of George in Lyon County where a brief tornado touchdown also occurred.
1882: Unusually cold weather resulted in widespread crop and garden damage and an amazing late season snowfall across southeastern Iowa. Hard frosts on May 22nd and 23rd did considerable damage to fruit, trees, and early vegetables across most of the state. At Ames the frost was reported to have been the heaviest known at this time of the season and "the foliage of many forest trees has been discolored from its effects." At Fort Dodge an observer noted that "the heavy frost is believed to have killed all the fruit; corn and potatoes were killed in the ground." Ice formed on standing water as far southeast as Fort Madison. Even more incredible was the snow that fell from late on May 22 into the early morning hours of the 23rd across about the southeastern quarter of the state, noted from Des Moines and Marshalltown east southeast to the Mississippi River. At Des Moines light rain changed over to snow at 11 pm and continued into the night, with the Weather Bureau observer estimating half an inch of snowfall. At Marshalltown snow began shortly after midnight, while at Washington 4 to 6 inches of snow fell "in the early part of the morning." At Muscatine, "it commenced to snow about 2 o'clock a.m. and continued until sunrise. About two inches fell." At Clinton one inch of snow was reported, while at Davenport 3 inches of snow fell but by sunrise only 1 inch remained on the ground. Reports from Mahaska, Wapello, and Van Buren counties stated that between half an inch and 2 inches of snow fell during the storm. Only during the unbelievable storm of May 28, 1947 has any snow ever been recorded in Iowa on a later date of the spring.
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The "On This Day in Iowa Weather History" feature contains some memorable weather events and trivia from the early 1800's to the present day for Iowa. Many sources were used to research and compile the data and the above information may represent official, unofficial, or estimated values. As noteworthy weather events occur, they will be added to the database.